What people are saying about the Raptors’ chances of toppling LeBron James in the playoffs
The Toronto Raptors were the best team in the Eastern Conference this year. They set a franchise high for wins in a regular season. They completely steamrolled opponents en route to their fourth division title in the last five years. They advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs last week after defeating the Washington Wizards. But now, all those wins and accolades feel a little hollow, because there’s a living legend standing in the Raptors’ way: LeBron James.
The Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers kick off their second-round playoff series in Toronto this evening. It’s the third consecutive year the teams have met in the playoffs. In 2016, the Raptors put up a valiant fight, but ultimately lost to the Cavs in six games. James and his team went on to win an NBA championship that season. In 2017, the Raps ran into LeBron and company again and were unceremoniously ousted in four games.
This time around, Toronto arguably has the better team, anchored by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. But can they really overcome King James? Twitter has some feelings on the matter.
Some aren’t so sure the Raps can knock off the Cavs:
If the Raptors can’t beat this Cavs thing with home court advantage they have to blow it all up
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) April 29, 2018
Beating LeBron might be worthy of its own trophy:
— Raptors Realm (@RaptorsRealm) April 29, 2018
Some fans have resorted to using math to prove the Raps can win:
LeBron played all 82, 7 game series to beat Indy, 40+ minutes a night, now travels North of the border to play one of the deepest teams in the league.
It's really hard for me to pick against LeBron. But Toronto very different schematically. I'll take the Raps. #WeTheNorth
— James??? (@ScriptsByJames) April 29, 2018
This is definitely not the same team LeBron and the Cavaliers have played in the past:
Forget all this "Raptors are facing the wekest Lebron team they ever have" talk.
Structure it the other way.
This is the best team Lebron has faced in the eastern conference since 2013.
Back then he had Bosh, Wade and was at the top of his powers.
Needed 7 games.
— asad (@Swarlayzers) April 30, 2018
What a time to be alive:
had an urge today to walk up to strangers on the street in Toronto and be like “do you understand that this is a real opportunity to beat lebron in the playoffs do you realize this might actually happen DO YOU GET IT”
— alex (@steven_lebron) May 1, 2018
If the best iteration of the Raptors we've ever seen still loses to this terrible version of the Cavs, LeBron immediately becomes Prime Minister of Canada
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) April 29, 2018
A tired LeBron bodes well for the Raptors:
LeBron declined discussing Raptors. Said he’s “Burnt now.. wanna go home. Can we finish this press conf? “ he asked #cavs
— john telich (@JohnTelich8) April 29, 2018
The playoffs are a stressful time for everyone:
And so the anxiety recommences. Belief over doubt. #WeTheNorth
— Daniel Levitt (@DanielLevitt32) May 1, 2018
LeBron carried his Cavaliers in a gruelling first-round series against the Pacers, but can he do it again?
GREAT job by LeBron. However, if it takes 44 from him to beat Indy, man. What does that mean against Toronto or Philly, as a TEAM. Someone has to help him or it won't be an 8th straight trip.
— 1 (@TacosNSlurpees) April 26, 2018
Sports commentator Skip Bayless is a man who makes a living out of invalidating everything LeBron does, and yet he’s not convinced the Raps can overcome:
The Cavs will sweep the Raptors.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 29, 2018
No matter what the result, it won’t be easy for the Raptors. But almost everyone agrees that this is their opportunity:
Toronto, you have home court, this Cavs team mostly sucks, you got extra rest, you have the better team, LeBron is dog tired and you are, knock on wood, healthy.
You have not had, nor will you ever have, a better chance to beat him than this.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 29, 2018