James, Cavs sweep Raptors to make conference finals

James, Cavs sweep Raptors to make conference finals

James, Cavs sweep Raptors to make conference finals

Not one, not two, but it's now been three (3!) straight years that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have eliminated the Toronto Raptors from the playoffs.

Cleveland will play either Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference finals. The final game was such an emphatic, dominant performance that it left most viewers with the same question: What do the Raptors do now?

But just a week ago, we were asking when "Kevin Love The All-Star" would show up and wondering if any of the other Cavs would get over 20 points. The Raptors are well over the cap for next season with no real wiggle room to try and shuffle their roster.

It was believed to be enough to solve some of the problems that have plagued the Raptors in the postseason because teams could previously get away with abandoning DeRozan on the 3-point line knowing he wouldn't look to shoot.Unfortunately for the Raptors, DeRozan's success from the 3-point line didn't carry over to the second round of the playoffs.

In the Cavs' four-game sweep over the Raptors, the East's No. 1 seed, James was just as impressive, averaging 34 points in the four games, but his teammates' contributions skyrocketed.

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Another good sign for the Cavs?

Lowry and DeRozan, who between them will make more than US$57 million next season, both said they still believe the team has the right pieces in place. "Whatever happens you've got to be ready for this time (of) year, the physical strength".

"Toronto. We saw what kind of heart they lack when they go up against LeBron which is something I predicted before the series began".

Oh, I think he's talking about golf? "The things he does for his teammates get them going".

"We had a heck of a season as far as the regular season is concerned", Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said.

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But the rules say it takes four games to sweep, so they played one more, to make it official.

The Cavs were balanced and were finally able to take some of the pressure off James, who had seemingly been abandoned by his teammates through much of the postseason.

"We're talking about LeBron likely going to an eighth consecutive NBA Finals and when we look at the Eastern Conference, look at how there's just a rose petal pathway to the Finals".

All the above factors combined to give the Cavs a much easier than expected run to the Conference Finals.

"The regular season doesn't matter", Lowry said. "For me I always just have that belief, I don't know how, I don't know why, I just always had that belief of the more crap you go through, the stronger and more resilient you're going to be down the line".

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"It was good ball movement tonight", said Hill, who scored 12 points against Toronto to put all five Cavs starters in double digits. It was quite the difference from the first round, when the Pacers outscored the Cavaliers by 18.0 points per 100 possessions with Love on the court and James on the bench.

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