Sustained effort leads to Cleveland Cavaliers' postseason success

Hazel Gray
May 20, 2017

They present so many problems offensively. However, getting swept in the second round by the team you've had in the crosshairs all season doesn't do much to boost confidence. A year later, expectations have changed and - now more than ever before - if they're not going to win, it matters how they lose.

The thumping at the hands of the Cavaliers would not have provided Ujiri with a lot of useful information as he considers his next move. Fifty wins, Kyle and DeMar, playoff spots, and LeBron makes it all feel small.

"He tries to go as far as we need him", Lue said.

Coach Dwane Casey also wondered what might have been. "Those decisions will be up to Masai", he said. For me, I think that at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 - something should be close. Bolstered by late-season deals for Ibaka and P.J.

"As a veteran guy, you want to be with coaches, players, where you totally fit".

Hoping to stave off elimination, the Raptors were more aggressive from the opening whistle than they'd been all series.

"It would be hard", Casey said.

The 31-year-old was speaking after Toronto's season came to a grinding halt with a 4-0 series defeat against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

But for the front office, a bunch of what-ifs and maybes are not the most comfortable way to build a roster. That is a huge compliment to the impact of James not a shot at a 50+ win Toronto team.

Then we'll wait to see what next year's team will look like. The Raptors took a 93-92 lead with 6:38 to play when Serge Ibaka made a free throw to complete a three-point play.

But it would not last. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and eight assists despite taking an Iman Shumpert knee to the groin in the second quarter.

First, DeRozan took an (unintentional) boot to the unmentionables, causing him to head to the locker room for treatment and possibly to throw up.

Tucker opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to slice the deficit to two points.

Second, Cleveland starting bombing away like mad.

Kyle Korver added 18 points, including 4 of 6 on 3-point attempts, for the Cavaliers off the bench, and Channing Frye contributed 10 points. And also the Raptors were hoofed in the nuggets. Like MJ did in the 90s, he's left several good teams - and some great players - wondering: what if? From the Gilbert Arenas-led Wizards to the Celtics big three.

His lay-up with four minutes left had Cleveland up by eight. There were no points in the first 2:19 of the game before Cleveland F LeBron James scored on a dunk off a fastbreak. The postseason was a different story, though, as the All-Star guard only averaged 15.8 points in the eight games he played in.

The difference between Cavs vs. Raptors in regard to regular season numbers and Cavs vs. Raptors in the playoffs is another reason - in addition to the issue of rest and player health - to reevaluate the length of the season. The Cavs had too many threats for the Raptors to contain. "I can't really say right now if it's a step back, I just know it's not a step forward".

The Cavs were that.

Other reports by VgToday

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