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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Tyronn Lue wants to find more minutes for Channing Frye

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A glaring problem for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their blowout NBA Finals Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday was how handily their second unit was outscored (a 45-10 deficit). One of the biggest reasons behind that discrepancy was the fact that big man Channing Frye, a key bench cog, only got seven minutes of action. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue wants to make sure that’s not the case moving ahead into Game 2 and beyond.

“I thought the matchup was kind of hard,” Lue said per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “When we went from Channing and LeBron in that 4 and 5 lineup, they went small. But Channing’s a big part of what we do, so I have to find a way to keep him on the floor.”

The 6-foot-11 Frye is a 38.6 percent career shooter from deep and, as such, is an excellent small-ball stretch 5 who can operate in an up-tempo style and open up the floor for his teammates offensively. But Lue is right when he says that the Warriors, who play pace-and-space better than anyone else in the league, are a difficult matchup for the purposes of getting Frye onto the court and otherwise. The 33-year-old is a poor rebounder despite his size and brings next to nothing on the defensive end, deficiencies that are magnified tenfold when going up against a buzzsaw like Golden State.

Lue might be able to find more minutes for Frye in certain situations alongside LeBron James and Tristan Thompson (or any other combination of bigs who can compensate for Frye both on defense and on the glass…sorry, Kevin Love). But it’s doubtful that lineup tweak, or any for that matter, will be able to flip the script against a Warriors team that looks far, far superior to the Cavs right now.

Image Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

H/T Rotoworld

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