Raptors again knocked out of playoffs by LeBron James, Cavaliers

May 09, 2018, 01:15
Raptors again knocked out of playoffs by LeBron James, Cavaliers

For Toronto head coach Dwane Casey, the only thing that did not align for the Raptors over the past few seasons was that they were always running into a brick wall that is LeBron James. "A lot of teams have struggled here".

Meanwhile, it sounds like the Cavaliers' tactics were simple - their coach Tyronn Lue said on Sunday: "You just get the ball to Bron at the end of the game".

I mean, when shots like this are going down, what can you do? "I'll feel it, until I can suppress this feeling, until I can get back in the gym".

'It is very hard, ' James said, smiling.

The Cavaliers now find themselves just four wins away from punching their ticket to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance. Gliding in the air, James increased the lead to 20 at 75-55 early in the third with a double-pump bank shot that had the crowd oohing.

3-Point Goals-Toronto 4-15 (Ibaka 2-3, VanVleet 1-3, Lowry 1-4, Anunoby 0-1, Wright 0-1, Powell 0-1, Miles 0-2), Cleveland 12-26 (Korver 4-5, Smith 3-3, Love 2-4, Green 2-6, Osman 1-3, Hill 0-1, Clarkson 0-1, James 0-3).

In four games against the Raptors, LeBron averaged 34 points, 8.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists on 55 percent shooting from the field.

The Cavs advance to the Eastern Conference final for the fourth straight season and the eighth time in franchise history (1976, 1992, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017). "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades", he said. But he did speak to DeRozan before practice, downplaying the decision to bench his star by saying he didn't want to break up the quintet he had on the court at the time.

There isn't much to say about James in this series.

LeBron was asked about what the Cavs have done to turn the All-Star into a fourth-quarter afterthought during shootaround ahead of Game 4.

"They tried to show some pride in Game 3 then they quit again tonight". Toronto's game plan, in their third annual clash with King James and the Cavaliers, went something like this.

So, in these situations, how does James - with such a wide-array of shots - decide which was is the best? "Mental freshness, my body feels great, I was able to just keep going", Lowry said. "But I trust every shot that I'm going to take because I work on every shot". Make James beat you single-handedly: A similar philosophy nearly worked for the Indiana Pacers in the first round, when the Pacers pushed Cleveland to seven games by ensuring just one Cavalier not named LeBron finished with a series scoring average in double figures. In Games 2-4, Love had a remarkable net rating differential of plus-48.1 points per 100 possessions, by far the highest mark of any rotation player. Dario Saric led Philadelphia with 25 points and eight rebounds, but getting Simmons back on track was key. Over that span his teams have beaten the Raptors three straight times, sure. It has never been their time against LeBron and the Cavaliers in the playoffs, and after this time around, it's looking like it never will be.

"It would be absurd to make a move like that", he said. "And he's playing at that level right now". They shouldn't. They should make him score the basketball. Double team him only in rare circumstances.

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