Published: Wed, May 02, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

LeBron James becomes National Basketball Association postseason steals leader

LeBron James becomes National Basketball Association postseason steals leader

The former Hoosier matched up against the Cavaliers' star 106 times - nearly double the next-highest amount for any other Raptor. The man has strong feelings about his #brand. Get in his way.

This set-up will allow LeBron a lot of time to rest while guarding mostly OG Anunoby and maybe Serge Ibaka.

In the regular season, Anunoby - who tore his ACL playing for IN in January of 2017 and slipped to the 23rd pick of the draft as a result - emerged as Dwane Casey's primary choice to defend James.

This is by far the most vulnerable James has looked in the last couple of years. "We've got some very flexible players, versatile players, some flexible schemes and different looks that you want to put at him".

"You have to ask him". The series will rely primarily on how well the Cavs respond to their respective matchups on offense, and whether they can get over the anemic displays of the previous round to give their leader enough support this time around.

The reference to last season is instructive. And the real key is this: When any other player on the Raptors marked James, the clip the Cavaliers' offense scored at ballooned to 1.38 points per possession. Based on those traits, it will be interesting to see if James makes a concerted effort to attempt more post-ups and shots from distance. The three-time NBA Finals MVP averaged the highest rebound and assist numbers per 36 minutes of his career, along with his joint-third highest scoring total per game.

Last year, in the Cavs' sweep of the Raptors, Toronto mostly placed current Rocket PJ Tucker on James. He meant it as a compliment. Simply, it was a screenshot of a text from Victor Oladipo just minutes after being handed the most meaningful loss of his young career, with the star combo guard asking his trainer, "When do we start?" They can not match the Pacers' youth and tenacity.

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The Raptors open their second round playoff series at home to James and the Cavs on Tuesday night.

The one other thing that the Raptors might - emphasis on might - benefit from is the possibility that James could be a little tired. "We've played big games before so that's a comfort". But at some point it's possible he shows he is a little mortal. James also needs seven rebounds to become the seventh player with 2,000 and would join Karl Malone as the only non-forwards among a group that includes Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Those two guys retired at 39 and 41.

This season the Raptors finished in the top-five in both offensive (111) and defensive rating (103.4), making Toronto the only team in the league to do so, per

Lue, meanwhile, changed his starting lineup for the fourth time in this series by playing James at the point and inserting Tristan Thompson, who went from out of the rotation to 15 points and 10 rebounds'. He has also leads the playoffs in minutes this season. The better overall squad will advance to the Western Conference Championship round. He said afterward he was "burnt".

James reportedly suffered cramps on Sunday afternoon, although he said a "minor injury" forced him to the locker room with one minute left in the third quarter in a four-point victory.

"I think it is impossible for the supporting cast to be as bad in round two as they were in round one", Wright said on First Things First. So, too, will Siakam's endless energy reserve. "As long as we approach that with that confidence, we'll be all right".

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