Do not adjust your internet. This is not a rerun of LeBron James assaulting a rim from two days ago. This is yet another ferocious dunk delivered by LeBron the Destroyer that can pretty accurately sum up how Cleveland once again thrashed Toronto 108-89 last night.
James finished the night with a triple double, scoring 23 points on a devastatingly efficient 13 shots, while also grabbing 11 rebounds and doling out 11 assists. Kyrie Irving added 26 points. He continues to be unstoppable off the pick and roll, and there is not a single player on the Raptors roster who has shown an ability to match-up with him one-on-one.
It’s not just the stars that are killing it for Cleveland, guys like Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye are also getting in on the beatdown. Jefferson, who has been in this league for 14 (going on 50) years scored 9 in game one, and Frye, who has come into his own as a stretch five for the Cavs, had 10 last night. This is a team whose role players are gelling perfectly with its stars and the results have been explosive.
Things are getting pretty desperate for Kyle Lowry, who shot 4-14 in game two and had five turnovers to only three assists. He is shooting 1-15 in the series from range, and has a deer in the headlights look whenever he has the ball. I really thought that Lowry had figured things out in game seven of the Heat series, but his play was so bad in game two that Lowry walked back to his team’s locker room before the half. This is a guy who is in need of some serious soul searching right now.
I’ve advocated for Corey Joseph getting a look at starting point guard before, but he has not been nearly as good in this series as he was against the Heat. He finished with a -17 point differential, and while he is much more active that Lowry that activity has not led to much success for the Raptors. Toronto needs to put out some kind of tip line to try to find an answer what Cleveland is throwing at them, because I certainly can’t think of anything, and it’s clear that Dwane Casey has run out of cliche’s to try to get his players to work harder.
There was a lot of talk during the regular season that the Eastern Conference had finally started to catch up with the West in terms of talent, but that theory has been completely blown out of the water in these playoffs. The Cavaliers have still not been tested by their competition in the postseason, and seem capable of blowing their opponents out of the water whenever they want. To watch Toronto fight as hard as they can to keep these games close in the first two periods, only to get completely steamrolled in the third is disheartening. You can’t knock the Cavs for being destroying weaker competition, it is the mark of a great team, but it has not made of very compelling basketball.
There are no games tonight, so I suggest all of us basketball fiends go out and enjoy ourselves. Perhaps we should all go light a candle for the Kyle Lowry, so he might find his lost soul.