The Raptors finally had LeBron James and the Cavs on the ropes in a playoff game — finally.
But they let their opponent off the hook, thanks to some horrendous shooting in the fourth quarter, and the same thing that’s happened to them in the playoffs happening on Tuesday night.
They melted down.
The Raptors had leads of 12 and 14 points, and actually did not trail (!) during one minute of regulation. Still, they failed to put the game away, and a few big shots in overtime helped them to emerge victorious by a point in Game 1.
All in all, it was a huge win for the Cavs — one that puts all the pressure on the Raptors, and could also affect their psyche.
But don’t tell that to head coach Dwane Casey — who came out and stated his team is the better squad after Tuesday’s loss.
“A lot of things we did to ourselves,” he said. “Nothing special, nothing that we didn’t expect, some uncharacteristic things that we missed, some shots we missed, I thought that was the difference in the game.
“I think we’re a better team,” he continued. “We just didn’t make the shots down the stretch. I know it sounds simplistic, but we had our open looks, had our opportunities that we didn’t cash in on. And some other things we can clean up defensively, that we can do a better job with also.”
Great idea, coach. Give James even more bulletin-board material to work off — as if he needs any more.