It was the second of a tough three-game stretch for the Raptors where they played the Southeast Division-leading Heat, the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers, and then the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
The Raptors averaging 111.5 points per game this season - the 3rd highest mark in the league. Jakob Poeltl had a rough outing on Tuesday against Bam Adebayo, Pascal Siakam's scoring touch had been missing for a while, and Norman Powell had looked out of place in nearly any role he was asked to perform. Mike Brown was sacked at the end of the 2009-2010 season after leading Cleveland to a 61-21 regular-season record, culminating with a loss in the conference semifinals. VanVleet's now 10 for his past 21 from beyond the arc. But after another blowout loss Thursday night against the new-look Raptors, Cleveland looks vulnerable, their crown starting to slide off a touch.The real question is whether any East team is able to take advantage. He did, however, dish out eight assists.
Through half a season and counting, the Raptors have had a chance to win in nearly all them, and more often than not have done just that. And we can't afford that right now the way we're playing ball. Most interesting was his thoughts on his future.
Cavaliers' margin of defeat by the Raptors is their worst this season..
Told of Lue's suggestion [that some players have an agenda], LeBron James said "I would hope not".
"The daddy side kicks in sometimes".
"I don't [have an agenda]", LeBron James said when asked about Lue's comment. I don't know. I don't have one. I'm 33 now, this thing started when I was 15, so more. Among the players in the regular rotation are 36-year-old Dwyane Wade, 36-year-old Kyle Korver, 36-year-old Jose Calderon, 32-year-old J.R. Smith, and 31-year-old Jeff Green. So that will be a deciding factor in how long I'll play, but right now I feel great.
It is fantastic to consider that James was hyped as the next big thing when he was only slightly older than his son is now. This is now a team that you have to beat, as a team, and the rest of the guys can carry weight when needed. The Cavs had attempted just seven three-pointers all half - and missed every one. "He's continuing to just excel", Miles said.
Among five-man lineups that have played at least 200 minutes together this season, Toronto's lineup of Anunoby, DeRozan, Ibaka, Lowry and Valanciunas ranks fifth in net rating (plus-16.7). And all of those things are true right now. His response: "From the inside, it doesn't look good either". They need to deliver a convincing series win, something that has thus far eluded them, and to really reach that next level of expectation they might need to pull off an unlikely upset against a LeBron-led squad. Making matters worse, the Cavs are also near the bottom of the league in defensive rebounding percentage and overall rebounding percentage.