By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The NBA Playoffs continue with the Conference Finals on the horizon....but no sight of the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors, the regular season winners of both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, were bounced on Monday night in convincing fashion by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers completed a 4 game sweep with a 35 point massacre of Toronto winning 128-93 in Game 4.
What bothers the Raptors and their fans the most ?
- that Cleveland completed the sweep with a blowout ?
- that Cleveland swept Toronto even though the Raptors were 9 games better than the sometimes bickering Cavs in the regular season ?
- or that for the 3rd straight year, Cleveland eliminated Toronto, sweeping them for the 2nd straight post season ?
It all bugs the Raptors and their fans, I'm certain.
There are big factors, the biggest being LeBron James, the biggest star in the Association, certainly now but arguably of all time.
There's no question LeBron James rises to the occasion, it just always seems to be against Toronto.
And if James stays in Cleveland, or in the Eastern Conference, what then of the Raptors whose first place finish this year was only good enough to get them trampled in the 2nd round of the playoffs ?
That unknown future probably agitates the Raptors and their fans more than recent history.
I'm Fred Wallace