Hail to the king: Raptors coach says team can’t watch LeBron
CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James dazzled with soaring dunks, outside shots and even a beer chaser in Game 1.
And he did it all – 35 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and an amusing sideline exchange with the ”beer lady”- at the expense of the Raptors, who may have been guilty of admiring the latest royal performance by Cleveland’s hoops king.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey has seen this happen before – with Michael Jordan.
A day after the Raptors fell into a familiar postseason hole with a 116-105 loss in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Casey was asked Tuesday if his players might be awed by James, the Jordan of this generation on a mission to make his seventh straight NBA Finals.
As an assistant coach with Seattle, Casey recalled urging his players not to bow to His Airness.
”We used to have to tell Gary Payton and those guys, `Hey, he puts his pants on one leg (at a time),”’ Casey said before the Raptors practiced inside an empty and quiet Quicken Loans Arena in anticipation of Game 2 on Wednesday. ”I think that’s natural. It’s human nature to watch a Michael Jordan or a Karl Malone, spectate until they hit you in the mouth.
”When a guy hits you in the mouth a few times – now what are you going to do? That’s the mentality we have to have, they punched us.”
The Cavs landed a vicious uppercut in Game 1, knocking back the Raptors, who lost their 10th straight series opener and are again facing an uphill postseason climb.
But Toronto has shown it can take a big shot and deliver…