BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics rookie Semi Ojeleye played a part of Boston’s Game 5 victory on Wednesday night without even stepping on the floor.
It was Ojeleye’s DNP — Coach’s Decision that led to an odd Cavaliers rotation from Cleveland head coach Ty Lue.
Career sharp-shooter Kyle Korver has been one of the Cleveland’s best offensive players not named LeBron during the series, but he never got off the bench as the Cavaliers fell behind by double digits early on Wednesday night. He didn’t check in until the second quarter, when the Cavaliers trailed by 15 points, and played just 19 minutes in the 96-83 Cavaliers loss.
It’s a baffling decision, but Lue’s explanation after the game was even more bewildering.
“Well, initially, [Stevens has] been putting Ojeleye in, so that’s been kind of Kyle’s matchup when he comes in the game. He didn’t play him tonight, so it kind of threw us for a loop,” said Lue.
So there you have it. Lue is letting one of Boston’s role players (one who has played 53 of the 240 minutes this series) dictate his rotation in the Eastern Conference finals. Maybe if Stevens doesn’t start Jaylen Brown in Friday night’s Game 6, Lue will counter by taking LeBron James out of his starting five.
Either way, this questionable decision-making and explanation by their head coach can’t have Cleveland fans feeling very good heading into a must-win Game 6.