A player like DeAndre Jordan can help solve their defensive woes with his interior defense and presence on the boards, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Cavaliers are still reluctant to include the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick in trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding the center.
It was a statement victory - 133-99 - for the Raptors and another bad loss for the Cavaliers.
According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, "multiple teams have cited" Thompson as a player Cleveland is willing to move. The Raptors were missing two of their best players, and were facing a well rested Cavaliers team, who figured to be motivated, following a blow-out loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
James had one assist - yes, one - on Thursday, to go with his game-high 26 points. "We've got to be locked in to what we're doing and be professional".
James had 27 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds and was called for a technical foul after reacting to Stephenson's jab by shoving him in the chest. "When the guy [Kyle] Lowry come off the floor and [DeMar] DeRozan comes off the floor, I mean who's gonna give you something now?" But let's not blame arguably the best player in the National Basketball Association for that, okay? "That changes the whole dynamic".
DeRozan said the team was shell-shocked without Lowry against Miami, but figured things out from that debacle and used it against Cleveland.
But Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri made some tweaks to his roster in the off-season, making the team younger and faster, with head coach Dwane Casey implementing an uptempo style much like the Warriors.More news: What Does The Data Behind AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) Suggest?
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While the Cavaliers quickly took back the lead, this certainly was a sign that the tide was turning in the game.
This Raptors game - a nationally televised affair against a playoff foe from the previous two seasons - would typically be the type of game the Dr. Jekyll Cavs would show up for.
With only two losses at the Air Canada Centre this season, the Raptors are establishing a dominance that can make them a risky team if they can secure home court advantage.
"We've been learning it, appreciating it, understanding it, since Day 1 of training camp", said DeRozan on the court of the Biosteel Centre, the Raptors' practice facility.
"That was just us trying to figure it out", he said. We're still getting better at it. "The game will let you know when it's over with", James said. "There's a lot of factors that go into it, moreso than just looking at numbers".
Cleveland will attempt to snap its two-game losing streak Friday night against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Toronto forward Serge Ibaka will return from a one-game suspension, the result of an altercation against the Heat.