As the most chaotic regular season in Cavs history comes careening down the homestretch - seriously, what next? - the high-flying, No. 1 seed Toronto Predatory Birds flapped their way into town Wednesday night, hoping to become the latest team to remind the Cavs that they are no longer the biggest bullies on the Eastern Conference block. Sure giving up 132 points is not ideal but Toronto also scored 129, this was not a game Cleveland dominated like they have in the past.
There has also been serious roster turnover as Cleveland traded Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder and Iman Shumpert and added George Hill, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood in February.
"I always say there is one game during the season that changes your team", Drew said, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "That game can be early, midway, it can be late, but there's always one game that changes your team's mindset".
The NBA has reportedly been discussing the implementation of a play-in tournament for the final two postseason berths in each conference, but if LeBron James had his way, that idea would come and go faster than Isaiah Thomas in a Cavaliers uniform.
Unfortunately, the Raptors missed a chance to show they can get past Cleveland with James playing at his best especially in Cleveland.
Even though the Raps dominated most of the game, they suffered a familiar feeling at the buzzer as the best player in the world showed that he's still capable of nearly single-handedly winning games. You can kind of see as the game kind of went on, he just kind of took it upon himself, and started making more plays.More news: 'Jayalalithaa refused to go to hospital', claims Sasikala
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"That's wack. That's wack", James said to reporters at practice. Meanwhile, the Cavs were missing three key-rotation pieces and were forced to play G-League talent in spot minutes.
Perhaps the Raptors will find some way to slow down LeBron James and perhaps the entertainment value will be as good, perhaps even better. "Bron is just that guy that when things seem a little bleak, he's the guy that can get you over that hump". The former Cavs general manager David Griffin, who oversaw the previous three Finals runs, told Business Insider that if James makes the Finals this year, it may be his greatest accomplishment yet.
However, there were legitimate mitigating factors affecting both teams. On the night as a whole, Lebron James managed 17 assists without turning the ball over once. The Raptors are the No. 1 seed in the East and the only team in the National Basketball Association that ranks in the top five in offensive and defensive efficiency.
So let's talk about the Raptors in Cleveland.
Much has been made about the way Toronto has reinvented itself this season, although you wouldn't have known it on Wednesday night.
So good in the first half, so vulnerable in the second as the Raptors succumbed to King James and his masterful floor game, 132-129, in a classic old-fashioned shootout, old-school ABA-style. What he brings for us, I mean it's just - you can't describe it. "We're all glad to have him back".