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Tyronn Lue is the first coach in NBA history to start the playoffs 10-0. The Cavs look straight up unstoppable right now and are headed to the NBA Finals with some serious momentum. LeBron James and company look motivated and are firing on all cylinders, and Lue is a big reason for that.
Since the firing of David Blatt, Lue has taken full control of the team and is looked at as “the man” in team huddles instead of LeBron. Though he respects the hell out of him as a player, Lue will not be run down by James and he reportedly displayed that more than ever when he told James to “Shut the f**k up” in a recent huddle. Via CBS Sports:
Blatt’s use of Kevin Love, refusing to get him the ball in the post and relegating him to a stand-still shooter when all else failed, bordered on ridiculous. By letting James overwhelm him in the huddle during timeouts, Blatt unwittingly ceded control — and demoralized the rest of the team. By not being comfortable enough to rein in James, the dynamic of the team became one of LeBron and then everybody else.
“They felt they were doing this for LeBron,” the person familiar with the internal workings of the team said, “instead of with LeBron.”
Lue changed that the moment he first told James in a huddle, “Shut the [expletive up]. I got this,” according to a person who heard the exchange — and a few others like it. If Lue was going to get the stars and the role players to buy into the strategic changes he was determined to implement — play faster, space the floor, move the ball, take full advantage of Love’s versatility — he was going to have to restore order first.