This Raptors-Cavs series is a real snooze. Fans of fun basketball were hoping that the Raptors, who got blown out by the Bucks in a couple of games last round, would recover to challenge Cleveland, but with Toronto down three games to none, that certainly won’t happen. DeMar DeRozan turned in his best performance of the postseason in Friday’s 115–94 loss, but without any backup from the injured Kyle Lowry, the Raptors fell back into the Eastern Conference’s second tier. The Lowry-DeRozan era was fun, but enough already.
LeBron agrees and must be as bored as we are. His postgame interview on Friday was perfunctory, devoid of the charisma (or feistiness) he usually brings to the media. He was professional, but the motions of the postseason don’t mean anything to him anymore. This guy needs a worthy challenger. For the time being, until his seemingly inevitable third meeting with the Golden State Warriors, the only person who can push the King is himself.
So he decided to do this:
Poor Fred VanVleet. He would be an otherwise forgotten member of this underwhelming Raptors team, except now he is the guy who got roasted by LeBron that one time he decided to shoot with his left hand. FYI: LeBron shoots with his right. In a career so full of highlights that at one point he decided to extend his court time by turning the pregame warm-ups into a one-man dunk contest, this one feels like an instant classic: The Time That LeBron Was Bored and Switched His Shooting Hand For Fun.
Or maybe not. The Cavs’ 2017 playoffs will most likely be remembered only for the Finals outcome — and maybe if they can go 12–0 to get there. But LeBron’s individual postseason is already stunning. He destroyed the Pacers, jeopardizing Paul George’s future in Indiana, and we may be watching him end Lowry’s run in Toronto. He (with his team) now owns the record for biggest second-half comeback in a playoff game, he threw down one of the best dunks of the season, and he’s testing us to see if we’re still paying attention. He made that shot, and I think we passed.