Tyronn Lue: Jeff Green will start for Cavaliers through playoffs, pushing Kevin Love to center

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
4 Comments

Tyronn Lue is back coaching the Cavaliers, and he’s wasting no time altering the lineup.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Cavaliers:

It seems the healthy Cavs will start George Hill at point guard, Rodney Hood at shooting guard, LeBron James and Jeff Green at forward and Kevin Love at center

Love at center will help maximize Cleveland’s offense, but he’s a liability as a rim-protector. The Cavs’ defense is already bad enough, and this will present another challenge.

As Lue said, Green is versatile. But that doesn’t make Green good. For someone comfortable beyond the arc, he’s a poor 3-point shooter. He can passably guard multiple positions, but none of them well. At least that defensive versatility could allow LeBron to play more of a free-safety role on defense – where he excels and creates highly valuable transition opportunities.

This means Larry Nance Jr. and Tristan Thompson will come off the bench, and there might not be room for both bigs in the playoff rotation. The way Thompson has played this season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s the odd man out.

We should avoid overreacting to a starting lineup. Sometimes, reserves play more. But starters – who spread their minutes over 48 game minutes rather than scrunching them into a shorter window – are better-equipped for big roles. It matters that this is how Lue is setting up the Cavs for a high-stakes playoff run.