• Robert Britz

Kings to a Pawn

*Photo via GQ

Let the King continue his reign over the East.

Since Lebron James’ move to Miami in 2010, the Eastern Conference has seen him as their champion every single year. King James will challenge a Western Conference foe, likely a rematch of last year’s championship series, for the sixth straight year.

Cue the banner men, the marching band, the cavalry, and the infantry. Tell them to head west because this ‘battle’ in the North will only last two more games.

Don’t blame the Toronto Raptors, their song was sung a long time ago, we knew their fate or anyone who had the possibility to confront Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. No one ever had a chance.

While many mull over Kyle Lowry’s shrinking stardom on the biggest stage or his wingman’s, DeMar DeRozan, equally poor play: Did it ever really matter? The Raptors were never good enough to beat Cleveland and as long this duo leads them they won’t earn any trophies, rings, or a mention in the history books.

*Photo via Getty Images

Kyle Lowry is an All-Star, yes, but he's nowhere near capable of leading his team into battle to challenge the best player in the world, the Miami Heat were better fit for that. Just as we thought Lowry might have his groove back, putting up 36 and 35 points on a combined nearly 50% shooting to close the East-Semis, he puts up two duds against the Cavs, shooting 28% with a combined 18 points.

Everything that made Kyle Lowry and exceptional player seems to be gone, his pit bull instincts, his confidence, and ability to attack. This debilitates not only Lowry himself but, as the leader and best player on his team, the Toronto Raptors. Not a single player on the Raptors has the capability to affect the game like Lowry can.

The Raptors were taken to seven games by a poor Indiana Pacers team hanging on Paul George’s talent and a banged up Miami Heat squad. Kyle Lowry’s poor play put them through two debilitating series. Now, facing the Cleveland, Toronto cannot take the same cavalier approach to Lowry’s struggles.

On a good night for Lowry, matching up with Kyrie Irving would be an entertaining aspect of the series. Now, everyone in the Cavs’ rotation is outplaying Toronto’s best player. While, Cleveland may not have the offensive continuity of the Warriors, every single player in their lineup can score one-on-one and their understanding of each other seems to improve every game. Since nearly all of their starters can affect the game in a multitude of ways, this team has turned into a well-oiled machine just at the right time.

With Cleveland finding their chemistry, groove, and blazing a path through the Eastern Conference, the beast is just too big to beat. The Raptors can only play for pride but even with that there’s little hope in extending this series even a game.

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