Cavs coach hosting TV party to watch Bucks-Raptors series

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In those four games, James averaged 43.8 minutes per game, but that doesn't concern head coach Tyronn Lue.

Records notwithstanding, everyone knew the Cavaliers were the better team by the time the postseason rolled around. Washington matched up well with the Cavs in their meetings this season, the Wizards backcourt John Wall and Bradley Beal in particular played well in their meetings with the Cavs.

Consider that James averaged 32.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 9.0 assists, shot 54 percent from the field, went 9 of 20 on 3-pointers and led the Cavaliers to the biggest second-half comeback in league history during the series against in, and it's easy to see why Lue wants to move past the minutes chatter.

"That's impressive. Impressive. Nothing short of impressive", Irving said when told how much James had played. Since the start of March the Cavs have played under.500 basketball with 10 wins and 14 losses in that span.

Look for more familiarity once we get through the opening round. Not only have they seen the Cavaliers at peak efficiency thanks to last year's playoff matchup, but Toronto has just come off a gruelling six-game series with the Milwaukee Bucks, who tested them in ways that were unexpected.

And both teams are in even better shape next season with a ton of cap space to work with and key players under contract.

The struggles throughout this series were enough for people to believe that Toronto had no chance against Cleveland.

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Coming down the stretch of the regular season, the Cavs' defensive effectiveness had been questioned. They also have arguably the best coach of all time, Greg Popovich and Leonard is a huge force in the league. Other than J.R. Smith (28.8), no one else averaged more than 17.3 minutes.

The big question here for Toronto is what to do with guard Norman Powell. Powell, who brought needed energy and helped space the floor, played a total of 21 minutes the first three games (none in Game 2) and not less than 31 in the final three. It was two more games than just about anybody expected them to get. Valanciunas did help improve the bench's numbers substantially.

While Cleveland was the No. 2 seed in the East behind Boston, the third-seeded Raptors said the Cavaliers are unequivocally the team to beat in the East. Even that is better than the Raptors were getting from his spot a year ago against the Cavs. In addition, he connected on 54 percent of his field goals and hit 45 percent of his three-point attempts. DeRozan was hit-and-miss against the Bucks and finished averaging 23.5 points on 43.9 per cent shooting and just 8.3 per cent from 3-point range. He also averaged 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks - double his steals from the regular season, and triple the blocks.

"Of course, we're always cognizant of LeBron's minutes, but in looking at this situation, we didn't look at the minutes as an issue", Lue said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. There's no reason the Cavaliers can't walk right through the Eastern Conference like James has done the past six seasons. Barring injury to James or Irving, it's hard to bet against the Cavs here.

"That's good to know because we play well at home", Lue said, referencing Cleveland's 18-4 postseason record at Quicken Loans Arena since 2015.

Particularly if Thomas is the only one making shots, as we saw earlier in this series against the Bulls, the Celtics playoff life will be short-lived. Those same teams are now 48-7 in such series (a.873 winning percentage).

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