This will be the first time in Lebron James' career that he has faced an elimination game in the opening round of the playoffs.
In game seven on Sunday, LeBron was forced to leave the game briefly ahead of the fourth quarter due to cramping in his legs.
Even though it was only against a first-round opponent, James has left his signature all over yet another postseason. They can not ruin James' streak of never losing the first round. He has managed to win 12 straight first-round series, dating to his first in 2005-06. Sunday was one of those times.
For James and this brutal fight with the Pacers, the blows just wouldn't stop coming.
If the IN series was any indication, James might have to do it again. And, the Cavs did just enough without him on the court. "Just got to put it up there for him".
"Whenever you've got the best player in the world or your leader on the team giving everything he's got, whether he's playing the point guard position, guarding, rebounding, blocking shots, assisting, for me and the younger guys, we've got to pick it up", he said.
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.
How They Got Here: Toronto beat No. 8 Washington 4-2, and Cleveland beat No. 5 IN 4-3. "Game seven separates the men from the boys".
Bottom line is both teams have outstanding youthful talent but the length of the starting 5 for the Sixers is a tough ask for most teams in the National Basketball Association.
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The Raptors are in the position to overpower the Cavs the way a one-seed normally overpower a four-seed. Norman Powell and Bebe each for +8 in the final two minutes of this game when it was out of reach.
This shot was phenomenal. They prevailed in that series, 4-1, then were beaten by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, 4-1. But back to LeBron. George Hill, JR Smith, and Kyle Korver scored 9.3, 8.6, and 8.3 points per game, respectively.
Even bigger was Lue's decision to change his starting lineup once again.
Really, there was nearly no help for LeBron on offense. Rodney Hood was useless. (Jordan) Clarkson, I know, didn't make a shot but just playing hard defensively just competing. "At the end of the day we've all got to D one as a team, lock in on individual players, team-wise show LeBron as many bodies as we can", DeRozan said. Jeff Green was a surprise.
Outside shooting, consistent defense, and depth will be the main keys for Toronto. The teams have gone over the total in five of the last seven meetings.
On defense, there was limited perimeter defense, which allowed Oladipo and Darren Collison to attack the rim nearly any time they wanted. The Pacers forced a game 7 by drubbing the Cavaliers, 121-87 in game 6. However, Indiana had eight turnovers while Cleveland had zero in the first half.
This is more of a public service announcement than it is an article: a public service announcement for the court of LeBron James.
James also averaged 36 points in the Cavaliers' sweep of Toronto a year ago, but enjoyed little support during the team's hard-fought victory over the Pacers, with Kevin Love being the only other Cleveland player to average more than 10 points per game in the series. No one knows how much energy LBJ has in him after the draining Pacers series.