We meet again: Cavs, Raptors back together in postseason
May 01 2017 by Kelly Saunders
Their productions must improve to keep up with the high-octane offense from their Western Conference foes should they reach the championship round. Even compared to other athlete's snapchats, Jefferson's are particularly unfiltered and give you a look at the psyche of the team that you just can't get anywhere else.
The NBA playoffs is a 16-team, 4-round tournament, although it really functions as a combination of two separate 8-team, 3-round Conference playoffs. The conference is littered with the corpses of teams that have tried and failed. "The ability for our guys to come in and come out and be ready and be the consummate professional, to come out with a win like that and for LeBron to put on a performance like that is nothing short of special". No, this isn't the Conference Finals, but it might as well be. That being said, after losing their last four regular season games, the Cavs turned around to win their first four postseason games, sweeping the Indiana Pacers.
DeRozan and Lowry - 13 points - were the only Raptors to finish in double figures. "It makes more sense to close out the series and have the additional rest versus playing potentially even more minutes, potentially 96-144 more minutes". Those last two games against the Pacers were a step back, and as the Cavs face the Raptors in the next round, they'll need Love spacing the floor and keeping Serge Ibaka out of the lane. "But I'm able to look at all the signs in the crowd and still maintain my focus on the court, too, so it doesn't do much". If the Hawks can maintain an offensive power throughout the playoffs, which was notably inconsistent in the regular season, they have a chance at eliminating the Wizards. In those three games, the sophomore guard posted a net rating of 24.4 points per 100 possessions and posted the highest true shooting percentage (80.5) among all starters in the first round. She was killed in an auto accident two weeks ago, but Thomas has not missed a game. The knowledge from past year should certainly help.
On the way to their title past year, the Cavs bonded during similar watch parties.
Now hes one series into his playoff life - one up and down round against the Milwaukee Bucks and everybody is looking at Tucker, centring him out, the defensive stopper and three-point shooter, with a not-so-simple objective: Stop LeBron James.
Usually, teams are not supposed to place their success on a single player, however, in the Cavs' situation, it is nearly kind of hard not to. He willed the Raptors into the Second Round after struggling early, topping the 30-point mark in two of the final three games of the series after taking the collar in an eight-point, 0-for-8 effort in Game 3. The Rockets survived on paint scoring against Oklahoma City while shooting 28% on threes.
ROAD WARRIOR: James loves the road, where he has won at least one game in a record 27 consecutive playoff series.
San Antonio: Another strong year for the Spurs, with the addition of LeMarcus Aldridge and the growth of Kawai Leonard from star to MVP caliber Super Star easily making up for the decline of once key players like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
The second team to advance to the second round of the playoffs was the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs-Rockets game probably goes to the Spurs, although there is some uncertainty here.
The Spurs are powered by Kawhi Leonard while James Harden sparks Houston.
"I liked the fight we had to go through with Milwaukee", Tucker said. They're very aware of the numbers above and the odds that are stacked up against them, or any other team in Cleveland's crosshairs this time of year. "It's winning time and we're going to do whatever it takes".
Who's going to win it all?
The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2016-2017 National Basketball Association playoffs, capping off the series with a 106-102 victory on Sunday.
Cleveland ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency during the season and allowed 111 points per 100 possessions to in - which was worse than the Cavs' regular-season average.
Nothing can be easy for the Raptors. It's hard to stay locked in for 82 games when you've been playing into June four, five years in a row.