Cleveland earned the right to advance by holding off IN 105-101 IN Game 7 of their first round series Sunday. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward have both been ruled out and Jaylen Brown is doubtful for Game 1 after pulling his hamstring. The Cavaliers will advance to face the Toronto Raptors, so if LeBron hopes to keep up his otherworldly performance now would be the time to do so.
It was yet another awe-inspiring performance for James in a Game 7, and even after 15 years in the National Basketball Association, he can still take over games.
LeBron James has been tremendous throughout this series, but hasn't been able to finish off the Pacers yet. Cleveland managed to hold off several late charges by the Pacers though they failed to cover the line. If the Raptors are ever going to beat LeBron James, this ought to be the time. Raptors were at least competitive this season on the road in Cleveland yet unable to win there.
And so, the Raptors contemplate their third attempt at regicide saying numerous same things that they have said previously.
Regardless of how exhausted LeBron and the Cavs are, they have to now shift their focus north of the border as their second round series against the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference gets underway tomorrow night.
Love entered the game shooting 7-of-31 in games 4-6. The Indiana Pacers doubtless thought the same thing in the first round, and James still averaged over 34 points per game while making more two-point baskets than anyone else in the playoffs. For the fifth-year guard, this series was a strong success and litmus test for his bright future.
The Raptors will pick their poison in trying to find answers for James. Toronto was down 10 after the opening quarter, by three at the half and by five after three quarters before their depth pulled through. The difficulty is figuring out which defensive course will most benefit them and give them the best chance to win four games. It didn't work, as he averaged almost three assists for every turnover, with three teammates nailing at least 14 threes in the six games (Kyrie Irving shot only 29% from three, but still averaged 24.2 points). DeMar DeRozan chipped in 16 points, Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 14 points plus 12 boards and Pascal Siakam added 11 points with eight rebounds off the bench. James Harden scored 41 points as the Rockets romped to a 110-96 victory.
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Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 vs.
Cleveland is 20-27 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record. My mom and dad know when I get in this state of mind to just let me be.
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.
The Pacers series underscored the Cavaliers' major weaknesses including inconsistent rotations, lack of a dependable second scorer, and an over-reliance on number 23. Cleveland was outscored by 40 points by the Pacers in the series, marking the worst point differential of any team that won a seven game series in the postseason. "They're another team, like IN, that can play a number of different ways". They can not win unless someone not named LeBron James scores at least twenty points.
Fred VanVleet returned in game 6 against the Wizards and it looked liked he juiced the Raptors bench when the Raptors were down early.
WKYC digital producers Ben Axelrod and Matt Florjancic previewed the 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals with today's edition of "The 3-Point Play".
The 33-year-old was going to leave it all on the floor in what some Cleveland fans feared could have been his last game with the franchise. Taking Cleveland to cover the spread or the over on the totals are the best options in this one.