With AP Photos.The Toronto Raptors seem to have everything in their favor heading into their postseason matchup against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. James said he was urged to get IV fluids but turned them down.
"Gotta go through the best to get to that trophy", All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan said.
Anything else they get from one of their younger players is gravy, and the experienced gained in this wringer of a series against the Pacers should help them. That's what it's all about. We felt like we didn't play a good first half and we were just 11 down.
LeBron James scored 45 points in another magnificent game seven performance Sunday, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers and into the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs.
The Cavs pulled down 11 offensive rebounds in the first half and led by as many as 14 in the second quarter as coach Tyronn Lue switched his starting lineup to include all four of his holdovers from the last three NBA Finals teams: James, Thompson, Kevin Love and JR Smith. For the first time, the Raptors come in as not only the higher seed but the better team. "I feel like we've earned our respect from everyone".
He reportedly spends upwards of $1.5 million per year maintaining his body to withstand the physical demands of carrying a team through multiple playoff rounds each year. But I havent thought about that.. "You are not going to take away everything from anybody whether it's Cleveland or Boston or Philadelphia". Lowry also has a post-season high of 8.3 ASTS, having 3 more assists than past year in 83 less minutes. In Game 6, the Raptors knocked down 44.4 percent from the field and went seven of 28 from beyond the arc. The series with the Sixers is fascinating, because of the adjustments and game plans I'm waiting to see Stevens put to work against Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. James rolled off the pass to score an uncontested layup on a wide pick-and-roll to make it 102-96. James's teammates, through the first six games of the series, had combined to post a P.E.R. of 9.0, which would represent the lowest combined P.E.R. for one of James's supporting casts in his 42 career playoff series. The Pacers forced a game 7 by drubbing the Cavaliers, 121-87 in game 6.
While Lowry has certainly played worse in the playoffs nearly annually, I'll focus on DeRozan.
"I don't believe he's exhausted", Casey said. A lot better today. That relates to what seems to be the key for the young Raptor: his positioning, which forces opponents into more hard shots.
Really, this season is no different to any other for the 33-year-old.
The Cavs returned to Canada and were even more impressive in Game 6, ending the series with a 113-97 smackdown of the Raptors.
"The way we've been playing at home has definitely been a crutch we've been leaning on to understand how high our confidence could be", DeRozan said.
This series is now truly a toss-up, with the best player in the series, Giannis Antetokounmpo, capable of stealing a game on the road for the Bucks. All year, you fight to be No. 1 for that homecourt advantage, and you kind of use that to your advantage. Then Golden State went out in the first round and just blitzed the Spurs, with an average margin of victory of 14 points in the five-game gentleman's sweep. "Why's it need to stop now?"
Toronto is deeper this time around, more rested, and actually favored in Game 1 after posting a league-best 34-7 home record (the home team won all three regular-season meetings between the Raptors and Cavs, with Cleveland taking two of three), but the Raptors won't allow themselves to fall into the trap that unchartered territory brings with it.