Vegas Sours on Cavs NBA Championship Odds After Struggles vs Pacers

Vegas Sours on Cavs NBA Championship Odds After Struggles vs Pacers

Vegas Sours on Cavs NBA Championship Odds After Struggles vs Pacers

But this year, both teams come into the Second Round with some lumps from a tough initial matchup.

Past year at this time, the Toronto Raptors came into their second post-season attempt at slowing down LeBron James talking about the importance of frustrating him and making him feel uncomfortable.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Indiana Pacers in game 7 of their opening round NBA Eastern Conference playoff series.

I would like to credit myself as my intensity throughout the entire game somehow transferred to James nearly 600 miles away in Cleveland, but I knew that is not true. Toronto kicks off the conference semifinals as a heavy favorite (88 percent chance to win the series) over Cleveland, according to the Basketball Power Index - which has been down on the Cavaliers all season.

LeBron averaged 45.0 points per over the last three home games of the series against IN and posted a triple-double IN the opener.

After the smoke cleared from Game 7 of the first-round series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, LeBron James stood tall amongst all the players on the court.

He took to Twitter after Game 7 to remind everyone that James is capable of single-handedly carrying a team just as he did in the first round.

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"They're the No. 1 team in the East for a reason", James said of the 59-win Raptors.

And if there's a season the Cavaliers look vulnerable, it's this one.

DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the game against the Washington Wizards.

The Cavs returned to Canada and were even more impressive in Game 6, ending the series with a 113-97 smackdown of the Raptors.

"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. These guys haven't significantly made the Cavs better. After seven games in which the Pacers ultimately outscored the Cavs, LeBron James proved just enough.

Toronto should do what they can to prevent the Cavs from scoring a lot of points. Nothing was going to keep James off the floor in what some Cleveland fans feared could have been his last game with the franchise.

For Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, the 3:35 stretch was vital.

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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. We have to find that extra boost and go out there and fight with him. They can not lose in the first round and expect to keep LeBron James. The second worst out of 185 cities in the state.

This transformation, more than any other, marks the biggest difference between this Raptors team and the one Cleveland's faced in the previous two years.

Despite the Cavs ending the Raptors season the last two season, Charles Barkley is fully in the camp of the team from the 6ix.

Harden, who also had seven assists and eight rebounds, picked up where he left off in the regular season against the Jazz when he averaged 34.3 points, led by a 56-point performance in a 137-110 win in November.

VanVleet is an essential part of that second unit and the Raptors success in general.

James averaged 26.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists in the series, Irving averaged 24.2 points and 4.5 assists.

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