With a dominating 128-93 win in Game 4 last night, the Cavs are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth straight year. The Cavs ended the Toronto Raptors’ season for the third year in a row. LeBron James put up impressive stats, including 29 points and 11 assists.
Catching up with LeBron
The semifinals were a definite contrast from the Cavs’ grueling seven-game first round series that left James, who averaged 41 points, pretty exhausted.
WKSU commentator Terry Pluto said Kevin Love, George Hill and J. R. Smith stepped up in the conference finals.
“The team just seemed to catch up to LeBron,” Pluto said. “His confidence rubbed off on them.”
It’s been an epic postseason for James so far. According to Pluto, James’ stats are only part of the picture.
“How does his team grow around him?” Pluto said. “They begin to develop a tougher playoff personality.”
Love, who struggled in the Pacers series, averaged 26 points with the Raptors.
Scared to death
And, there’s also the intimidation factor as the teams’ psyches change heading into the playoffs.
“LeBron just scares other teams to death,” Pluto said.
At a pregame press conference, the Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey said he doesn’t believe in ghosts in the playoffs, even after losing the previous two seasons to the Cavs.
“He may not subscribe to ghosts, but he can’t beat LeBron James,” Pluto said. “That does get in their heads.”
This is James’ eighth consecutive year in the finals: the first four were with the Miami Heat, and the last three were with the Cavs.
Another uphill series?
But can the Cavs ride this high into the conference finals?
Pluto predicts if the Cavs end up taking on the Celtics, fans might get flashbacks to the uphill seven-game series against Indiana.
“Boston will probably play them in the slow physical style Indiana did,” Pluto said.
The Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday. The winner will face off against the Cavs in the conference finals.