Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Cavs Head to Conference Finals for Fourth Consecutive Year

Kevin Love EPAKevin Love has also impressed for the Cavs
Tamara Craig | 09 May, 2018, 01:17

Whether it was his defense, ability to get to the basket, or finding the open guy offensively, the starting point guard played one of his best games of the postseason Monday night.

'Things that you dream about, that you get those opportunities and I've been fortunate enough to get a handful of those in some of the biggest moments in my career'. "I don't get caught up in that".

'It is very hard, ' James said, smiling.

It is not impossible for the Raptors to make a finals appearance if they once again managed to restructure the squad and make some improvements. And it's not just the one-legged, fadeaway bank shot that James practices.

He also sank a key three-pointer - after a nifty pump fake - with eight seconds left in Game 3, to tie the game at 103-103. Cleveland's hopes came true in Game 3 as DeRozan was 3-of-12 from the field.

These are all shots Love has watched James make over and over again. "No matter if it's the first quarter or the game victor, I feel pretty comfortable with it". "You see him shoot that all the time with one hand in practice", Love said. But he did speak to DeRozan before practice, downplaying the decision to bench his star by saying he didn't want to break up the quintet he had on the court at the time.

And while it's true that James has carried the Cavaliers for most of his 11 seasons with them, he's had to shoulder a heavier burden over the past 92 games. After missing three-and-a-half games of Cleveland's seven-game, opening-round series with the Indiana Pacers, the return of Hill might have been the biggest revelation for the Cavs, who were in desperate need of a primary ball-handler to pair alongside James.

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James offered another precursor of what was to come prior to Game 3 and then elaborated after his game-winner.

So, in these situations, how does James - with such a wide-array of shots - decide which was is the best? But I knew mentally, maybe, what was going on in their head. "He put the trust in me, he believed in me, he let me be a 21-year-old kid going out there, playing freely", DeRozan said. He's averaging 18 points per game in the series, after averaging 23 points per game during the regular season. James entered Game 4 with 348 points in these playoffs, the most through 10 games by any player since Michael Jordan (354) in 1992. Dario Saric led Philadelphia with 25 points and eight rebounds, but getting Simmons back on track was key.

Every time the Raptors pushed, James pushed back.

The one-man-show aspect of LeBron's Cavaliers had been noted by basketball fans for some time but received an increased degree of attention when Donald Glover and the cast of "Saturday Night Live" roasted the duties of the "Other Cavaliers" over the weekend. As reported by Sportsnet's Vivek Jacob, the Cavaliers' coach said: "That's absurd, that's insane".

As overwhelming an advantage as the Cavs might seem to be taking into Monday's Game 4, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue is cautioning his team against overconfidence.

"I'm just disappointed. I like their players, I like their coach".

"How does his team grow around him?"

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