Playoffs show Raptors need a makeover

LeBron James has been playing some of the best postseason basketball of his entire career through two NBA playoff series, sweeping both the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors while averaging 34.4 points per game through eight games. "There's desperation at their end and desperation at our end".

Thomas scored 33 and 53 points respectively in the series' first two games, but he was held to 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting during Game 3 as Washington turned up the defensive intensity and pressure.

"This is a big stage they did it on", he said. "If you had seen clips of our transition D (Sunday), you would trade all the players and fire me by the end of the game".

"Honestly, I haven't thought about the criteria". I thought the guys played with grit, toughness, togetherness. Were the Raptors' stars just being realistic, or did they need to show more fight and confidence in order to truly compete with the NBA's best? "The way they were making shots, and they were well guarded, you're going to have to score 117-118 points a night to beat them".

The Cavaliers had a 12-point lead after the first half and entered the fourth quarter ahead by five.

3-Point Goals: 16-41, .390 (James 5-12, Korver 4-6, Frye 2-3, Irving 2-6, Dero.Williams 1-3, Love 1-4, Smith 1-6, Shumpert 0-1).

For the fourth game in a row, LeBron James scored at least 35 points, as the 32-year-old continued his dominant Playoffs form.

"Our bible begins with transition defence, and if it's not there, then we're just not ready to go", he said.

Celtics centre Al Horford said: "We just turned the ball over a lot".

"They went to him on isos", Raptors point guard Cory Joseph said. He's helped me tremendously, helped me be me, a better man, a better basketball player.

Spurs forwards Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 points apiece, while Jonathan Simmons tallied 17 points off the San Antonio bench.

Lowry said he and Casey have butted heads but added the coach allowed him to "become a three-time all-star and allow me to become the player I am and have a voice".

The Raptors have four free agents in Lowry, Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson, and - like a domino effect - numerous big decisions in the next few weeks depends on who stays and who goes.

"Toronto's giving [LeBron and the Cavs] props during the series", said Perkins, citing Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan's comments regarding LeBron James. They're one of the league's top eight teams by any measure and that shouldn't be taken for granted.

"They're a hell of a team for a reason. It's a tough one for me".

The Cavs are of course in the Eastern Conference finals for the third consecutive season. As long as ownership is willing to go over the cap, the Raptors are better off with Lowry. Toronto would likely take quarters on the dollar, but it could be worth it to make room for some more versatile frontcourt depth.

P.J. Tucker started this game and was huge.

However, it was Kyrie Irving time as the point guard outscored the Raptors himself 11-2 over the next 2:38 to give the Cavs a 103-95 lead with four minutes to play.

Tucker closed out the scoring in the third quarter with a 3-pointer from the corner to cut Cleveland's lead to 85-80.

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