That's usually a combination that equates to postseason success.In terms of point differential, the Cavs are 11th while Toronto ranks second, trailing the Golden State Warriors.Despite the Cavs' terrible stretch, ranking as the league's worst defense in the three games since Isaiah Thomas - who was supposed to lift the team to new heights - in the starting lineup, the Cavs don't seem too concerned. Nice win, that's about it.
The real test will come when the Golden State Warriors arrive on Saturday, their high-flying offence has proven to be too tough to slow down this season.
"We in a funk", James said. The game will let you know when it's over with. So it never stops. Does he "like" seeing his former team in disarray, or does he "like" seeing his former teammate stepping up as a leader to get his team back in order?
Asked about the team's defense by a reporter, LeBron James snapped saying the reporter didn't look like he could play defense, either.
Questioning if members of his team have personal agendas or not isn't a good look nearing the halfway point of the season.
This is not an insignificant achievement. Have a 10-year-old boy, 3-year-old girl, so the daddy side kicks in sometimes. This year's squad has had problems with defensive effort, one aspect that can certainly improve when their general interest in games is piqued. Their struggles even extended all the way into late February, when the Cavs lost to Eastern Conference up-and-comers in the Raptors and Washington Wizards.
They're second only to Golden State in the National Basketball Association in net rating.
But Cleveland was indeed competitive for a change, almost rebounding from a season-worst 34-point loss Thursday in Toronto (and 28-point loss Monday in Minneapolis). But that's not to say they're slow. "We'll see, we'll see, but, right now I feel great".
But perhaps the only thing that can soothe the Cavs is getting back in the win column.
"I don't know where it kind of went wrong or what happened", James said. "Every night is a different animal that you've got to attack and our job and our approach is to be consistent as much as possible each night".
Toronto won 56 and 51 games, respectively, in each of the last two seasons.
Pacers center Myles Turner (elbow) missed the contest against Miami and will be sidelined again versus Cleveland. The Raptors came into the night with a 1-7 record in their last eight games with the Cavs. The Raptors were missing two of their big three in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, and rather than that result in an easy night for Cleveland, all it did was set the stage for guys such as Fred VanVleet, Jakob Poeltl, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam to make an impact. That would distract them from the process of gradual improvement.