Although the sample size is small, it's obvious that the Cavs are in a rut and should not be considered one of the best teams in the league until they get things figured out.
The Cavs always seem to snap out of it and come together in time for the postseason.
However, just because the Cavaliers shook off the cobwebs a year ago and coasted their way to an Eastern Conference title doesn't mean it's going to be as easy this time around. The Raptors came into the night with a 1-7 record in their last eight games with the Cavs. Cleveland's defense definitely looked exposed in this game, often giving up line drives to the basket from Delon Wright and Norman Van Vleet, among others, but they took away DeMar DeRozan quite successfully for most of the game.
There was Toronto's fast 10-4 run. Jeff Green and Jae Crowder were the second- and third-leading scorers with 13 and 11 each, and Kevin Love, Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade were virtually non-existent. Poeltl also added 12 boards for the double-double finish. Pascal Siakam finished with 16 markers as well. Just because LeBron hasn't been beaten before the NBA Finals doesn't mean he can't be, it'll just require a different type of Raptors team to do so.
Fred VanVleet continues to turn heads after notching a career high of 22 points with six three's, four rebounds and four assists.
"Sometimes you get in a slump, guys start worrying about me, me, me", he noted.
The second half was more of the same - the Raptors ruling every statistical category.
The loss to the Raptors was the Cavaliers' third straight game in which they gave up more than 127 points to their opponent.
Thompson is three seasons into a five-year, $82 million contract, so that high-dollar salary would be integral in paying for an established star.
"We in a funk", James said. The Cavaliers' regular-season play has gone in patches of mediocrity and stretches of brilliance so far, but there is still the sense that they are just waiting to explode in the postseason. His teammates have faith he will find his way, yet are concerned he is not playing aggressive enough as he has passed at times when teammates were expecting him to shoot.
"You can't mess around not playing well going into the playoffs", James said. "It's just been a process of us learning a right rhythm, finding a comfort within it".
In the end, the Raptors shot 50 percent and out-rebounded the Cavs by an astounding 63-35.
Since then, though, the Cavs haven't been almost as impressive and, currently, Cleveland is in the midst of a losing spell with six defeats in eight games.
When asked about Lue's comments, LeBron responded, "I would hope not". Just a few days after losing by 28 points to the Timberwolves-and causing LeBron to get a little bit testy with reporters-Cleveland lost by 34 to the Raptors in Toronto, even though the Raptors were without the services of both Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
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