CLEVELAND – LeBron James said he felt like critics were “Burying my teammates alive” in the first round of the NBA playoffs, but after the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Toronto Raptors with a 128-93 Game 4 win Monday to reach the Eastern Conference finals, he and the so-called “Other Cavaliers” got the last laugh.
The criticism of James’ teammates was so pervasive that “Saturday Night Live” even made a skit about it this past weekend, showing fictional Cavs players saying things such as, “We run an offense called ‘hot potato’; LeBron throws us the ball, and we throw it right back,” and “Every time LeBron makes a free throw, I’m right there with that high-five.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers advanced past the Toronto Raptors for the third straight season with a Game 4 home win, completing a second straight sweep on May 7.
In the Cavs’ seven-game series win over the Indiana Pacers in the first round, James averaged 34.4 points per game, and Cleveland’s next-highest scorer was Kevin Love at 11.4 points per game.
In the Cavs’ four-game sweep over the Raptors, the East’s No. 1 seed, James was just as impressive, averaging 34 points in the four games, but his teammates’ contributions skyrocketed.
Lue and James said they never saw the SNL skit, but clearly, confidence in Cavs camp is mighty high these days after things seemed pretty shaky less than two weeks ago when Cleveland trailed Indiana 2-1.
“At the end of the day, I understand a series isn’t won until you win four, so me, personally, my confidence never wavered,” James said.
In Monday’s closeout game, James had only two points in the first quarter, but Cleveland was still able to build a 30-26 lead heading into the second.