Raptors determined to take LeBron James’ throne
Kyle Lowry has passed through three different franchises throughout his NBA career and the Chicago Bulls haven’t been one of them. Yet, they might be the team this Toronto Raptors resemble the most, as Lowry brought back memories of Michael Jordan finally surging triumphant after conquering the Detroit Pistons in 1991, to earn his first championship.
The Raptors, known to flame out in the postseason, face a similar task this season, boasting the top seed in the East for the first time in franchise history and ready to topple a King from his throne.
“I’m an ’86 baby. I wasn’t a student of the game or a connoisseur at the time,” Lowry told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “But my brother, Lonnie, was five years older and was always watching the games. And I would sit there and watch them. It’s a great comparison to then and now. Cleveland now and Detroit then was the ‘Bad Boys.’
Head coach Dwane Casey had warned yesterday that this roster needed to have a healthy amount of respect, but also a healthy amount of disrespect for this Cleveland Cavaliers team if they hoped to come out of this Eastern Conference semifinals victorious.
“It is never disrespect. The respect we have for them is the respect we have for them,” said Lowry. “But at the end of the day, we’re trying to do what we need to do to take [LeBron James’] throne and he knows that. He knows guys are coming for him. It’s not like he doesn’t know it, but we have to go out there and do it.”
The Raptors have adjusted their offense into a healthier share-the-wealth system, no longer a guard-centric style that made it easy to hone in on Lowry and backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan.
A deeper bench and an inspired defensive scheme might just prove enough to finally bounce the Cavs, who have seemed more reliant on James’ superstardom than ever before.