Jamie Nye: Raptors wanted LeBron, now get their shot

Cavs head into Game 7 with season franchise on the line

Cavs head into Game 7 with season franchise on the line

This mattered because the Raptors didn't play defense so the only way for them to win would have been to outplay the Cavs offensively.

Toronto is 8-4 ATS in April games. Meanwhile, the Cavs had their hands full with the Indiana Pacers and needed a four-point win in game seven to narrowly escape the first round.

On defense, there was limited perimeter defense, which allowed Oladipo and Darren Collison to attack the rim nearly any time they wanted.

But fatigue could be a factor against a Toronto team that punched their second-round ticket on Friday.

As Game 1 approaches, the Raptors are six-point home favorites which means that, in all likelihood, Toronto claims Game 1 and puts the Cavs on their collective heels from jump street. By all accounts, they are a team which has the capability to win the game with a strong performance on one end of the court - or also on both sides of the ball.

Early betting action on Game 1 is almost 50-50 on the spread but heavily on the over 215.5-point total.

Unfortunately for Cleveland fans it is now incumbent upon James to not only carry the load but do the digging, the rigging, and the excavating in order for the Cavs to be successful. He doesnt have that this season, and its negatively impacted the team. One notable problem from the Cavs series against the Pacers was the inability to close out on shooters.

And if James isn't exhausted yet, the Raptors plan to make him work. My mom and dad know when I get in this state of mind to just let me be.

The Cavs got a huge lift from Tristan Thompson, who played just 24 minutes in the first six games but made a rare start as Cavs coach Tyronn Lue used his 34th different starting lineup this season. The Cavs meanwhile can now assume the mantle of plucky underdog team looking to knock off the biggest kid on the block.

The Raptors will pick their poison in trying to find answers for James.

"George is a really good player", Lowry said. Cleveland is a much deeper team than Washington was.

In the regular season, Anunoby - who tore his ACL playing for IN in January of 2017 and slipped to the 23rd pick of the draft as a result - emerged as Dwane Casey's primary choice to defend James. LeBron James remains the best in the business and capable of taking over with a roster in shambles. That proved prescient, as the Cavs beat the Raptors in the most lopsided six-game series in National Basketball Association history then went on to win the National Basketball Association title. Cleveland needed seven games - and several fortuitous calls - to eliminate IN and advance to the second round against the Raptors. Throw in the Indians' Game 5 defeat of the Blue Jays down the street and you have three seasons in the past three years in which a Toronto team watched glumly as a Cleveland team celebrated north of the border. Narrowly escaping the first round could be a wakeup call for the rest of the Cavs team. "They've got 10-12 guys that can come in & produce every single night".

Cleveland is lucky that they are even playing in a game 7, but they have LeBron to thank for that.

Of course, James is also a legendary worker, and, much like the Raptors have spent the past year preparing for this opportunity to finally advance past "the King" in the post-season, James too has been preparing for this exact scenario of sustaining an incomparable amount of wear and tear while still performing at a Hall of Fame level.

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