LeBron James shredded the Toronto Raptors for 35 points and 17 assists, and Cleveland Cavaliers coach Larry Drew thinks the encouraging result is worth more than a simple victory to the team.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the interim boss believes this will be the springboard for the rest of Cleveland’s season.
“I always say there is one game during the season that changes your team. That game can be early, it can be midway, it can be late. There’s always one game that kind of changes your team, the mindset. And I really believe tonight’s game might have done that for us.”
Perhaps it truly will be. Maybe the Cavs rip off 10 straight victories as the regular season winds down before cruising to the NBA Finals.
But that’s a grand proclamation for what has been a deeply flawed team in 2017-18. While every victory over the No. 1 club in the conference is a great one, it’s just one game. Besides, Cleveland needed a heroic effort from LeBron to dispatch Toronto.
The Raptors poured in 79 points during the first half and scored 129 total. The Cavs cannot expect James to put together career-best performances against top competition.
Until the defense has a “turning point” game, Cleveland still has a glaring flaw to overcome during the postseason.