James brings Cavaliers back from the brink



Game 1 starts at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday night.

Of course, James is also a legendary worker, and, much like the Raptors have spent the past year preparing for this opportunity to finally advance past "the King" in the post-season, James too has been preparing for this exact scenario of sustaining an incomparable amount of wear and tear while still performing at a Hall of Fame level. The Cavs' average margin of victory in the series a year ago was 15.3 points and they made at least 13 3s in all four games. Cleveland won the regular season series 2-1, but Toronto is favored (-205) to win this series.

The Cavs were pushed to seven games by the fifth-seeded Pacers.

LeBron James flirted with a triple-double as he carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the next round, keeping his ideal round one record intact. Cleveland has eliminated the Raptors from the playoffs the past two seasons. Count the Raptors among the teams he has tormented, and he doesn't seem to fear them now. "From the jump, he was that spark that we needed, and I think he just had a phenomenal game - probably the best I've seen him play in a while". The Cavaliers have been good at the line, cashing in 76 percent of their chances.

Love entered the game shooting 7-of-31 in games 4-6. James led the way with another huge performance putting up 45 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Tristan Thompson offered wonderful rim protection in Game 7, but before then, he only played six minutes in the series. Kevin Love added 16 points and 14 rebounds. Can Cleveland get five guys in double figures on a nightly basis? Now it's time to take that next step with a signature series of success.

The Cavs advanced to the NBA Finals, where they overcame a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series to beat the Warriors, 4-3, and claim the first title for a Cleveland professional sports team since the 1964 Browns.

How the series plays out The Raptors win if...

Whether you're a coach, player, fan or casual observer, you know what stands between the Toronto Raptors and the Easten Conference Finals. "I want to go home", he added.

Are the Raptors for Real? Six out of the eight losses have been basically by 20 points?

Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors - 4/27/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
VanVleet fed Siakam for a dunk as part of a Raptors' 9-2 run that cut Washington's lead to just a point early in the second. Lead by an undrafted Fred VanVleet , the bench had enormous success with a league-high plus/minus of 3.6.

Anunoby can bother James at the initial point of attack, as he did John Wall, Bradley Beal and even James Harden during the regular season, but he still hasn't mastered pick-and-roll defence, so that's an area of concern, since James is such a lethal pick-and-roll player.

Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 vs.

Lance Stephenson, an eight-year pro in his second tour with in, was especially impressed with the team's young players.

"What we're doing, we're trying to bring something to the city where we are going to have like a weekly event here, like when we do an Edgewater live", Hester said.

"They're coming off a series where they were banging and bumping for seven games", Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said.

The Pacers series underscored the Cavaliers' major weaknesses including inconsistent rotations, lack of a dependable second scorer, and an over-reliance on number 23.

In the first round, James logged more than 41 minutes per game.

And Wright believes there is no way they could be any worse than they were against Indiana. Pascal Siakam didn't really show much against the Wizards outside of game 6 where he played great. The Cavs ran roughshod over the Dinosaurs, sweeping them in four games with Game Four held back at the Air Canada Centre.

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