Another yr, another knockout because of The King.
The Toronto Raptors were eradicated from the NBA play-offs by means of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers for the 3rd yr operating. It’s all getting a bit of bit deja vu.
The Cavaliers gained 4 immediately fits in a best possible-of-seven play-off semi-ultimate towards the Canadian group, who beat their document collection of wins this season.
But the Raptors had been no fit for Cleveland’s 33-year-outdated talisman, whose ultimate-2nd basket confirmed the Cavs’ place within the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
“There’s no hiding it – LeBron James is a beast,” says Matt Shearer, who runs the Toronto Raptors UK fan web page.
Matt’s had some past due nights over the financial institution vacation weekend to catch the fits – so was once understandably upset come Tuesday morning.
“For the third year, the Cleveland Cavaliers have knocked us out in four games,” he tells Newsbeat.
“This yr it was once a large unhappiness as a result of we did so smartly within the common season.
“The enthusiasts all idea there’d be large issues this yr.”
But one guy had other concepts.
LeBron proved why he is known as The King all over the 4 fits – however his best possible shot got here within the ultimate few seconds of recreation 3.
With 8 seconds to move, Toronto’s British rookie OG Anunoby scored a 3-pointer to take it to 103-103.
“I was on the edge of my seat for that one,” says Matt.
“It came down to: ‘Right, we have to stop them from scoring’.”
Then LeBron took the ball.
“Unfortunately the rest is history,” Matt says.
He dribbled the duration of the court docket, netting from the left because the buzzer went.
It confirmed the one distinction between the 2 groups in that fit was once LeBron.
What’s additionally disappointing for Matt is that the Raptors beat the Cavaliers within the common season by means of about 30 issues.
“They’ve suddenly stepped up. Whether that’s the LeBron factor, who knows – I think a lot of it is psychological.”
Matt thinks the Raptors’ techniques had been to take a look at and take LeBron out of the sport.
“But the other guys in the Cavaliers stepped it up as well.”
Meanwhile, it sounds just like the Cavaliers’ techniques had been easy – their trainer Tyronn Lue mentioned on Sunday: “You just get the ball to Bron at the end of the game.”
Surprisingly, Matt hopes to attract the Cavaliers again subsequent yr – so they may be able to get their very own again after being eradicated by means of the Ohio group for 3 years operating.
But can the Toronto Raptors keep away from being knocked out for a fourth immediately yr?
“It all depends if LeBron stays.”