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.
Stealing game one in Toronto would not only give the Cavs a 1-0 series lead but it would also plant the seed in the Raptors head of "oh no, here we go again".
If the IN series was any indication, James might have to do it again.
The Cavs were pushed to seven games by the fifth-seeded Pacers.
The gameplan for Cleveland starts and ends with LeBron James.
And what they found could make Cleveland a tougher out for the Raptors and maybe whoever comes next. It would be hard to imagine the Raptors would have that good a chance had they gone in a different direction with the 23rd pick of the 2017 draft.
Hill's return was critical for the Cavs, not only in Game 7 but going forward. James led the way with another huge performance putting up 45 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals. LeBron James became the first player to score at least 35 in every game of a four-game sweep. For the fifth-year guard, this series was a strong success and litmus test for his bright future.
How the series plays out The Raptors win if... "They're a more well-balanced team this year, and they showed it in their record, in their ability to win games, and they showed why they're the No. 1 team in the East".
"I want to go home", he said.
For comparison, in the postseason when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were both injured, LeBron was unassisted on 74.4 percent of his field goals.
James has hit 67% of his shots when posting up and has also gotten to the free-throw line a ton, but the Raptors might prefer making him earn it in the post, instead of creating open three-point opportunities. 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). Six out of the eight losses have been basically by 20 points? Cleveland scored just over 1.1 points per possession when that was the case.
Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 vs. Players like Fred VanVleet, Jakob Poeltl, and Delon Wright could all play big roles in this team finally getting over the Cleveland hurtle. "You're here to make plays, you're the leader'".
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So, once again, the burden falls on James, exhausted or not (and the Raptors said Monday that they don't believe for a second that the toll of this season's grind will lead to a worn out James in the series). These guys aren't expected to play a lot in this series. He played 43 minutes in Game 7, and was briefly forced off the court in the second half because of leg cramps. 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. Asking for five or six games like that from LeBron is asking too much. The Cavs ran roughshod over the Dinosaurs, sweeping them in four games with Game Four held back at the Air Canada Centre.
"There's not one right way or wrong way - if he's scoring on it, it's not right - but there's one thing that they're gonna live with and go with", Casey said. In addition to those two, the Raptors have two other players averaging more than double digit figures in points per game.
"Well, we felt like we did a year ago", Casey said. Taking Cleveland to cover the spread or the over on the totals are the best options in this one.