Lue wouldn't commit to Thompson starting Game 2 on Tuesday, but the coach cited his success against the 6-foot-10 Horford, who's averaging 17.2 points and 8.3 rebounds this postseason, as a reason for the possible switch.
Thompson's strategy against Horford doesn't sound complicated. "So that's a good thing, you know?"
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It's a small sample size, but in three games this season against Cleveland, Horford's offensive rating dropped to 92.4 points per 100 possessions with Thompson on the court, from 109.5 with Thompson on the bench. They've been playing extremely well throughout these playoffs. He's at the forefront of that. "We're very flexible, and we'll change it if we feel like we need it".
Rather than wait until their backs are against the wall against a gritty Boston bunch, two of the four veterans left from Cleveland's 2016 championship run are lighting a fire under a team that has always needed a little chaos to get going in Game 2. "That's what I try to do".
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That would likely take Marcus Morris out of the starting lineup and off James, too. The players have been stepping up for them.
When the possibility of a lineup change was posed, Lue said, "It's definitely something we have to weigh".
"We weighed it before the series started, but we'd won seven out of eight and we weren't going to adjust until someone beat us and we didn't play well with that lineup that got us to this point", Lue told McMenamin. "Whenever you go against him, we've had a history, especially in Atlanta with him and [Paul] Millsap, with Chicago Joakim [Noah] and Pau [Gasol], those are All-Star bigs that are very good players and for me a guy that wants to keep getting better and keep proving myself, you get up for those games".
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But don't expect Celtics coach Brad Stevens to fall for the potential smokescreen that is Thompson's starting presence. As a team, the Celtics starters outscored the Cavs starters 43-11 through the first 18 minutes of play, and they played some excellent team defense against Cleveland, holding them to just 36.0% shooting from the field and 15.4% from long-range. May. "Whoever they put on the floor, we're going to have to help appropriately, depending on who's on the floor, and we're going to have to guard him as hard as we can, which is easier said than done". Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? "I'm guessing he'll be a part of that lineup, so that's - our focus and emphases will remain the same".