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Complicated questions loom for Toronto Raptors in wake of playoff ouster

22 Mai 2017

The Cavs await the victor of the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards series in the conference finals, which won't open until at least May 15. He became the first player in National Basketball Association history to score at least 35 points in each game of a four-game sweep, doing so while shooting 57 per cent from the field and 48 per cent from three-point range. The entire series could have been considered a "shooterpalooza".

The Raptors made trade-deadline deals to acquire Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker with a playoff meeting with the Cavaliers in mind, but those moves hardly bridged the gap in the East. Toronto was swept, and general manager Masai Ujiri has to go back to the drawing board.

The Raptors found another gear in the third, and when Tucker launched a three with 0.8 left in the quarter it cut Cleveland's lead to 85-80 with one quarter left. James averaged 32.8 in round one, 36 in round two.

James hit a 3-pointer with just under three minutes left to put the Cavaliers ahead by 11. The Cavs were 16-for-41 from 3-point range.

The series between the Celtics and Wizards is level at 2-2 after Washington defeated Boston is a topsy-turvy match in the American capital.

A rim protector is so pivotal because it's frankly impossible to stop James in one-on-one situations, which is also starting to become the case with Kyrie Irving, too. "We knew it would be, coming into a hostile environment". "But they were making shots that were well covered, hand in their face". What did James shoot, 48 percent from 3 the whole series? But they're very hard to beat when he's shooting the ball like that because the ball is so spread. "You've got to match tit-for-tat to beat them".

"Anytime you have No. 23 you can flip every switch you want to", Dwane Casey said of James and the Cavs.

"There's not a player on our roster that should not work on their 3-point shot if they want to get more time", Casey said. "And now here goes Kyrie".

Raptors star DeMar DeRozan said he hoped Lowry may yet return to Toronto next season but told ESPN.com he would not lobby him. The way he's been playing is phenomenal.

Wherever Tucker happens to play during the 2017-18 season - and Toronto remains a possibility even amid all this uncertainty - the team that acquires him will be better.

"We played inspired basketball for each other", said Wizards coach Scott Brooks.

We'll see how easy it is. And it only took seven days.

"We get an opportunity to rest and get back onto the practice court". From the Bulls to the Pacers to the Hawks, all of whom look very different than they did just a few seasons ago.

"I will be opting out and that's as far as I've gotten", Lowry said as the Raptors wrapped up the season that ended with Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Looking at the past is a risky road teams should be tired of travelling, but it's hard to imagine the Raptors not feeling some sort of regret, especially where they're now headed. The Warriors still have a ways to go, but even with tougher competition awaiting, we should all keep in mind that they were missing their best player for several games, and are still without their head coach.

"I don't know if we made that final click", he added. Just from a lot of things we've been through as individuals and as a team.

Complicated questions loom for Toronto Raptors in wake of playoff ouster