nsucurrent.com May 24, 2018

LeBron James Should Know Cleveland Officially Sucks … For Families

02 May 2018, 01:50 | Nina Perez

LeBron James Should Know Cleveland Officially Sucks … For Families

In lieu of moral victory, Cavs claim actual victory in Toronto

"Just jumping from one team - where you've prepared for them every day for the last two weeks, seven games - not having much time to prepare for the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference this year, is going to be a challenging turnaround for us tonight", James said Tuesday morning before shootaround in Toronto.

The Cavaliers, who have won the Eastern Conference in each of the previous three seasons, will play the Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Tuesday at Air Canada Centre. We're not where (the Cavaliers) are right now. "It definitely will help us going forward".

Despite the Cavs ending the Raptors season the last two season, Charles Barkley is fully in the camp of the team from the 6ix.

Maybe third time's a charm.

Irving demanded an exit, severely weakening Cleveland, while the Isaiah Thomas trade was a dismal failure. These guys haven't significantly made the Cavs better. Better starters. Better bench.

So, with all due respect to you and your OH roots and Cleveland connections, here goes: Cleveland sucks. In last year's four-game sweep, Love doubled-up in Game 3 with 16 points and 14 boards but was held pretty much in check in the rest of the series.

Another team that LeBron terrorized for the better part of the decade is the Indiana Pacers.

The Cavaliers showed little urgency down the stretch to secure the No. 3 seed and get on the same side of the bracket as the injury-riddled Celtics.

They may not want to publicly admit it, but for the first time in a postseason matchup with James' Cavs, the ball is in Toronto's court - figuratively and literally. But it also might be just hubris.

The Raptors' bench has been a big difference-maker for them in the postseason too, and their All-Star duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have so far been exceptional.

IN has looked just as good, if not better, than the Cavaliers for most of this series. (He's healthy now.) But the Raptors weren't exactly encouraging.

The Pacers used a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 35-31 in the second quarter before Cleveland rebuilt the advantage. Considering the struggles of the Cavs' supporting cast against the Pacers, it will likely be the latter.

A loss would not only have ended the Cavs' season earlier than expected and their reign as three-time conference champs, but it would have pushed James closer to free agency. They were fortunate to get here, in part due to a free throw disparity in Game 7: they were 31 of 40 while in was 19 of 24.

That's why this familiar matchup feels so unfamiliar.

Finally, the Raptors are in position to overthrow LeBron in the playoffs. In no way will Anunoby or Siakam shut him down, but if they are out of the game because of foul trouble it puts the Raptors in a vulnerable position because the Raptors don't really have anyone else that can keep up with LeBron James both in physicality and speed.

LeBron says he's worn down.

This hack-of-a-scribe is willing to go out on the ledge by predicting the red-hot Pelicans will win this series if Curry doesn't play or is clearly limited.

Is Toronto good enough to vanquish the Cavs quickly and not face those situations?

The scoreboard for this road game (April 3rd) doesn't seem very bad because the Raptors only lost by 6 points, but they really weren't in this game at the end. Trending the opposite direction, so have the Cavaliers.

The question is, are the Raptors the new beasts of the East or merely paper tigers that have been the beneficiaries of adverse conditions surrounding their two most potent rivals?

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