"Just jumping from one team - where you've prepared for them every day for the last two weeks, seven games - not having much time to prepare for the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference this year, is going to be a challenging turnaround for us tonight", James said Tuesday morning before shootaround in Toronto.
"Amazing", Indiana's Victor Oladipo said of James. The Raptors have been off since a Game 6 victory over Washington last Friday night finished their first-round series, while James and the Cavs were pushed to the limit in grinding out a Game 7 win over in on Sunday.
Is it me or have we seen this movie before?
LeBron is the best player in the series and he has an edge mentally against Toronto's stars.
"That's the Tristan that we know", James told cleveland.com. The last two years, the Raptors have been the sacrificial lamb to the Cavaliers advancing in the post-season.
Although the Raptors have changed the construct of their roster this past season, Toronto's big guns remain their All-Star backcourt duo.
One way this is positive in that the Cavs didn't win by as much in 2017 as they did in 2016.
56 - Points by James in March of 2005, the third-highest scoring game of his career.
Two versions of the Galaxy 9 passed certification in China
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James Harden led all scorers with 41 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists and the Rockets came out strong right out of the gate to open their series with the Jazz with a convincing victory. VanVleet had only five points, four assists and four rebounds in Game 6, but he led the bench mob early in the fourth quarter when Toronto began to assert themselves and stayed on the court to let Kyle Lowry play off the ball so he could get to the basket. When Lebron James and the Cavaliers faced off with the Indiana Pacers in game 7, you could have found me downstairs in the fetal position multiple times and also pacing the room yelling at the television.
Cleveland point guard George Hill, who missed the previous three games with back spasms, did not play in the first half but scored 11 points in the final two quarters. These guys haven't significantly made the Cavs better.
James was at his scintillating best in the first round against the Pacers and he had to be in order to help the Cavaliers progress to the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Pacers could have easily won the series in six if it weren't for some late game heroics from LeBron in Game 5.
Toronto has been better than Cleveland throughout the season. Cleveland was a plus-34 on 3s during the conference semifinals past year. In their game 6 loss, the other 4 starters combined to score just 22 points while shooting 8-25.
If Thompson starts again in his Toronto homecoming, he'll take on the man that was drafted one spot behind him back in 2011 - Jonas Valanciunas. "This is the year, this a different Raptors team - they're going to win this series".
"They're a very tough team that plays well at home", Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said.
DeRozan agreed, saying there's "no question" the Raptors are better equipped to face Cleveland than in years past.
This time, however, Toronto is the top-seeded team in the East after a team-record 59-win season.