Celtics Cavaliers

Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Cavs coach Ty Lue says Celtics 'gooning' up game, apparently forgets J.R. Smith is on his team

John Tomase
May 16, 2018 - 1:48 am

Goon isn't just Gronk's driver.

It's the word Ty Lue uses to describe what the Celtics have done to his Cavaliers to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals as the series shifts to Cleveland.

"We've got to be tougher," the Cavs coach said after the Celtics erased a double-digit deficit and overcame a 42-point triple-double from LeBron James in a 107-94 victory on Tuesday. "I think they're playing tougher than we are. We see that. They're being physical. They're gooning the game up, and we've got to do the same thing."

If there's a goon in this series, it's Cavs guard J.R. Smith, who earned a flagrant foul for a two-handed shove to a defenseless Al Horford on a late alley-oop. Celtics guard Marcus Smart responded by putting his chin in Smith's face to make it clear he didn't appreciate the cheap shot, and the two drew matching technicals.

"Al is a defenseless person," Smart fumed. "He's in the air. He can't control how his body goes, and he's not even looking, and you go and take two hands to the back, that's a dirty shot. You just can't allow that to keep happening. That's not the first time J.R. has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us. 

"He's known for it, especially playing against us. We know that. It's like a bully -- you keep letting a bully pick on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up, and that's what I tried to do.  One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it."

In any event, the Celtics' 2-0 lead has little to do with gooning and everything to do with their aggressiveness and skill. If the Cavs don't match Boston's intensity, they'll be free to board Gronk's party bus for the summer, and Goon can take them wherever they want.

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