Having been able to compete in last year’s finals against the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics in the ongoing Eastern Conference Finals, Tyronn Lue has had the opportunity to see up close the offensive sets both teams run.

With the possibility of seeing his Cleveland Cavaliers competing against the Warriors in the finals for the third consecutive year, the 40-year-old head coach made it known that he does not want to get ahead of himself and is still focused on eliminating the C’s. He then added, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, that they are a difficult team to beat, even without Isaiah Thomas, as their offense is tough to defend, and maybe even tougher the the Warriors’.

“As much as you want to, it’s not over. [The Celtics are], like I told you guys before, it’s like we’re preparing for a whole new team. Like, we didn’t know what they were going to run. Isaiah (Thomas) goes down and they’re running a totally different offense than we prepared for so it’s been tough on us. And defensively, they’re a lot better. They don’t have a lot of weak links to go to, to go at.”

“The stuff they’re running, it’s harder to defend than Golden State’s (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it’s a totally different thing.”

Lue’s statement certainly says a lot about how much he respects the Celtics, and could’ve even shortchanged the Warriors, despite how good their offense has been. Now with Kevin Durant in Golden State’s fold, the Cavs would have more adjustments to make as they could be facing a more dangerous team than last year — if they make it once again to the NBA Finals.

It could also be that Lue is taking a subtle shot at the Dubs to send a message that he and his team are not intimidated by them. However, he also has to prepare for them better, as his words could fire them up and have more motivation to beat the Cavs should their paths cross again.