- Isaiah Thomas Says Celtics Would Have Won Title If He Had Never Been Traded to Cavs
- Collin Sexton Credits Cavs Teammates After Reaching 6th Straight 23-Point Game
- Channing Frye Explains Why Detroit Pistons Are Going to Be Dangerous in Playoffs
- Dan Gilbert, Larry Drew, and Channing Frye Offer Huge Praise for Collin Sexton
- Report: Kevin Love Questionable vs. Detroit Pistons With New Injury
- Cedi Osman Sends Message to Team USA Amid FIBA World Cup Match
- Kyrie Irving Says LeBron James Was ‘Thirsty for Rebounds’ With Cavs
- Collin Sexton Breaks Cavs Rookie Record Set by LeBron James
- J.R. Smith Says He’s Beaten Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Other All-Stars 1-on-1
- Kevin Love Speaks Out on Facing Dirk Nowitzki One Last Time
Report: Richard Jefferson ‘F—— Begged’ Tyronn Lue to Guard Kevin Durant
- Updated: June 12, 2017
One of the main problems the Cleveland Cavaliers have had during the first four games of the NBA Finals is the struggle in attempting to defend Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant. However, one player who has actually been able to succeed somewhat in that task is veteran reserve Richard Jefferson, who reportedly begged Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to take on that role.
The 36-year-old Jefferson was blunt in that request, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic:
“F—— begging for it,” Jefferson said. “I’ve been begging for it. I’ve been doing this for 16 years. I can do things. And the more you give me a little bit of an opportunity, the more you give me a little bit more of a leash, I can contribute. The best thing Ty did is he gave me a leash.”
Lue heard Jefferson’s pleas for three games before finally giving him the opportunity in Game 4, with the Cavs’ season on the line. The result was that during his 22 minutes, Jefferson was able to limit Durant to 1-of-7 shooting from the field, while also being much more physical on the player who had thrived during the Warriors’ three wins to start the series.
Having Jefferson take on the job of defending Durant meant that LeBron James could battle Draymond Green, whose usual production has dipped during the course of the Finals. The fact that the Cavaliers won Game 4 is a clear indication that the team plans on continuing this approach for however long the series continues.
Immediately after Cleveland won the franchise’s first title last year, Jefferson announced his retirement, a decision he changed just a few weeks later. That change of heart could turn out to be a huge bonus if the Cavaliers are able to pull off the miracle of becoming the first NBA team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a postseason series.
The next step in that monumental effort will take place at Oracle Arena on Monday night, with tipoff set for just after 9 p.m. ET.