James, Lue found what Cavaliers need to keep advancing

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Love entered the game shooting 7-of-31 in games 4-6.

He reportedly spends upwards of $1.5 million per year maintaining his body to withstand the physical demands of carrying a team through multiple playoff rounds each year.

Both exhausted teams will get a barometer of where they're at when we tip off on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors practised Monday on the eve of Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against old foe Cleveland at the Air Canada Centre.

James has hit 67% of his shots when posting up and has also gotten to the free-throw line a ton, but the Raptors might prefer making him earn it in the post, instead of creating open three-point opportunities.

For the last two seasons - years 14 and 15 in the NBA - James led the league in minutes per game for the first time in his career, an indication of just how much is required of him for the Cavs to succeed with their current roster.

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The wear and tear of playing 82 games and then a tough seven-game series in round one take its toll on LeBron James and he runs out of gas. The bad news is that the Raptors won more games than the Golden State Warriors this season.

BC-BKN-Cavaliers-Raptors, 955 Raptors rested, ready for third shot at LeBron, CavaliersAP Photo VZN111, INDC106, VZN113, VZN124, OHTD109Eds: Raptors rested, ready for third shot at LeBron and the Cavaliers.

DeMar DeRozan has been outstanding all season long and is coming off a career-high 28.8 ppg effort in the six-game series against Washington - knocking down 10 triples and piling up 29 assists.

James averaged 36.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the series.

The Cavs defeated the Pacers 105-101 in Game 7 and advanced with 4-3 overall into the semifinals of the East Conference playoffs.

When Lue made his first lineup change of this series, he turned back to JR Smith and Kyle Korver, two of the five players on this team who played in the 2017 Finals. Better offense. Better defense.

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Cleveland managed to claw their way past the Pacers and win Game 7 to take the series but it still left much to be desired in the grand scheme of things.

Regardless of how exhausted LeBron and the Cavs are, they have to now shift their focus north of the border as their second round series against the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference gets underway tomorrow night. He shot 55.3 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from the deep, something that he very well may have to replicate starting Tuesday night.

If Thompson starts again in his Toronto homecoming, he'll take on the man that was drafted one spot behind him back in 2011 - Jonas Valanciunas.

Nobody has lorded over the Raptors like King James. To advance, they must deal with one of the greatest athletes in National Basketball Association - and professional sports - history; LeBron James.

Cavs minute: This is the third consecutive year in which they've played Toronto in the playoffs.

After everything has been said at the end of the day, LeBron has dominated this Raptors team in late April and early May for the past two seasons.

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VanVleet is an essential part of that second unit and the Raptors success in general. He had played every second of the first half and had 26 points by intermission, but the stubborn Pacers sliced a 14-point deficit to 76-74 entering the final period. Finally, Kevin Love may or may not be playing with only one functioning thumb.

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