It's hard not to miss Bismack Biyombo.
"Anytime you have No 23 you can flip every switch you want to", a flabbergasted Raptors coach Dwane Casey said after the Cavs completed the series sweep with a 109-102 win in Game 4. Lowry's salary this year was $12 million and he is certain to double that on the free agent market.
With the Raptors trapped in the "very good but not great zone" the last few seasons, general manager Masai Ujiri made some bold moves at this year's trade deadline. "They just turned us, and (it) kept leading to lay-ups for them".
In 2017, the Raptors' dominos started to fall with Biyombo's departure. Coach has always been in my corner and had my back.
"Whenever he shoots the ball, you've got to anticipate it going in".
James added nine rebounds and six assists.
The Cavs are of course in the Eastern Conference finals for the third consecutive season.
The Eastern Conference finals will ensue on May 15 if that series goes six games, or May 17 if it goes to seven. "That's just how confident I am". When it was their turn to face up against LeBron and Co., the Raptors didn't whither.
Gay, a veteran looking to return to a playoff team, would be owed $14,263,566 in the last year of a three-year contract and has until June 10 to officially opt out of his deal. "They came out and competed, took an early lead, went up 11".
His emergence in the playoffs wasn't a fluke.
Gay, who played in 30 games this past season before rupturing his left Achilles' tendon January 18 against in, had informed the team he planned to opt out prior to the start of the season. "Be it would be fun to go even further next season". They are a totally different team defensively and definitely offensively (since the end of the regular season).
They also acquired Serge Ibaka from the Magic, but his attention to defence wasn't anywhere near that of Biyombo's. She has visited him in Toronto and likes the city.
It was the opposite of what the Raptors truly needed, knowing that "defence wins championships".
To take down LeBron in the East, a team needs to take on the same approach that's commonly seen in the NFL. "Learning from DeMar (DeRozan), hopefully being able to work out with some other of the best players in this league (like fellow UCLA alum and potential MVP Russell Westbrook, a frequent workout partner), really develop my mental focus and learn from them". So is forward Patrick Patterson. But if you don't have a rim protector, you can kiss your playoff hopes goodbye.
But not Draymond Green.
A rim protector is so pivotal because it's frankly impossible to stop James in one-on-one situations, which is also starting to become the case with Kyrie Irving, too. Tucker wondered. "You don't know". Korver hit four of his first five shots from the field, including two of his three looks from three-point range. Unfortunately for the Raptors, it was a resounding no in this series.
Though Lowry's return is his wish, does he feel he'd be ready to step in as the starter should Lowry sign with another team?
The Raptors met with the media on their traditional post-season locker cleanout day.
No matter how the question was posed, Kyle Lowry wouldn't bite. "I just want a ring", Lowry told reporters as he explained his free agency priorities in a report by the Associated Press via the Manila Bulletin. It was an unbelievable shooting display that Kyle put on for us, so it's great.