The Cleveland Cavaliers could be incredibly low on Kyrie Irving now that he’s a member of the Boston Celtics.
They aren’t, of course. But they could be.
As head coach Tyronn Lue said when asked how the Cavaliers would defend their former point guard on opening night, per ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin:
How are the Cavs going to stop Kyrie Irving? “You want me to tell you? Really? Come on, man,” said Tyronn Lue. “I’m not going to tell you. … “He’s still unstoppable. He’s still the same player. Just with a different team. So, offensively, like I said before, he has no offensive weaknesses so that’s all I can say.”
This question, assuming it’s relayed verbatim, could have been worded a little better. “Stop” is often interpreted as an insulting term when talking about superstars. Asking Lue how the Cavaliers would try defending Irving might have solicited a more insightful response.
Then again, the Cavaliers aren’t going to divulge tactical secrets. No team does. They riff on buzzwords and generalities, but few get into specifics before the fact. This topic is one Lue will speak on after the game, if he speaks on it all.
Mostly, though, it seems like Lue is trying to drive home the point that his opinion of Irving hasn’t changed. He’s the same dangerous shooter, the same impossibly deadeye isolation player. Whether the Cavaliers believe they can make his life difficult on Tuesday is irrelevant. They clearly have respect for him, no matter what the game plan is, regardless how he left Cleveland.