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Dwane Casey agrees that Cavs edge over Raptors is mental

DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James

The Toronto Raptors got swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. No one thought that would happen. In fact, many thought this was Toronto’s year.

But the Cavaliers and LeBron James seem to have something over the Raptors — the mental edge. This playoffs was the third in a row that the Raptors have been eliminated by the Cavaliers. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said that fact has something to do with why Toronto couldn’t get it done, per Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic.

“I do agree. I think when you get to this level, the semi-finals of the conference and the conference finals and definitely the championship, the mental toughness and I think mental toughness comes from experience, from getting knocked down over again, I know it doesn’t sound good but you look at all the teams that had to go through Chicago and the battle scars that they got, we were one of them in Seattle, you can just see the mental toughness that developed from that.”

Casey said the gap between the Raptors and Cavaliers is closing. With a sweep, its difficult to believe that. But the Raptors were the top seed in the Eastern Conference this year, and the Cavaliers had plenty of inner turmoil, not to mention injuries.

But Casey also said it takes time to build that mental toughness to beat a perennial title contender like the Cavaliers.

That’s where the mental toughness part, what he’s talking about, I think that’s what it is, is building those battle scars and going through the fire and getting hardened a little bit and understanding I’ve been in this situation before against Cleveland or whoever it is, and being mentally tough to understand it and be able to handle it. We were the second-youngest team in the playoffs, and to be able to handle some of those situations you have to have been there before and have the mental toughness to handle it.”