Tyronn Lue cites advantages to starting playoff series on the road
The Cleveland Cavaliers still do not know if they will open the Eastern Conference Finals next week on the road or within the friendly confines of Quicken Loans Arena. It all depends on the outcome of the semifinal series between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards.
The Celtics, the top seed in the East, will host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden if they can close out the Wizards.
On the other hand, the Cavaliers will open the Eastern Conference Finals at home should the Wizards, down 2-3 in their series, manage to beat the Celtics in both Games 6 and 7.
To hear it from Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue, there are some intrinsic advantages to opening a series on the road, if it indeed comes to that.
“The road, it’s your first time playing them in the series,” Lue said after Thursday’s practice, via Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “I think you get a chance to feel a team out and how they play.
“You know what their adjustments are for you and you get a chance to learn that on their floor, where the pressure is on them because they have to play well at home. You kind of get a chance to learn what they’re doing on their floor, where they have to take care of home court and now when you’re coming home for two games. You know what they’re doing and you can kind of adjust, it makes it somewhat easier.”
Given that the home team has won every semifinal series game in the Eastern Conference, home-court advantage arguably is at a huge premium this postseason.
The Cavaliers, however, haven’t lost yet in the postseason, going 8-0. So, perhaps the site of Game 1 next week isn’t of much concern to the Cavs.
What is known, though, is that if the Celtics close out the Wizards Friday night, Game 1 of the East Finals will be in Boston on Monday. Should the Wizards take the series to a Game 7, Game 1 will be on Wednesday regardless of outcome, with the site still to be determined.
Either way appears to be fine to the Cavaliers.