LeBron to miss regular-season finale, resting strained calf

Dragic tied it for the Heat with a long jumper, Miami got a stop on the final Cleveland possession and to overtime they went. We can't think about them being the second best team, or defending champs, or none of that.

"My confidence is that we can win", said Lue.

Leaning against a padded wall in Cleveland's practice facility, James smiled sheepishly.

"I've got the answer", James said. "I'm not giving it to you. I'm more pissed off that we put ourselves in this position because we certainly didn't need to".

"We didn't have any concern he would play (in the playoffs), in large part because he's Tristan", Griffin said.

Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 6, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

But there's genuine concern about these Cavaliers, who staggered down the stretch.

LeBron James led the league in average minutes played, but will have almost one full week of rest heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls are, somehow, 4-0 against the Cavs this season. The Cavaliers check in with the second best odds at 7-2, while the Spurs are third at 9-1.

If it's true that adversity builds character, the Cavs might be a lot are stronger than they appear. They delegitimize Love's Grant Hill-like outlet pass to James for a buzzer-beating 3 against the Wizards.


"We have good chance to win it all, but it starts with our opponent in two days", James said.

To be the best, you have to beat the best as the old saying goes; and the Pacers don't have to wait long to get the chance this postseason. "That's all you can ask for".

Cleveland Cavaliers' James Jones (1) shoots over Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Cleveland.

"I love the playoffs", he said.

To insinuate that the Cavaliers are light-years away from being a championship team just isn't fair.

"You have to just go out and prove what you've done", said Celtics forward Al Horford. Higher-seeded teams who win the first two games are also 40-111 SU in Game 3 (on the road) during that span. "The present is the only thing that matters". I mean it is what it is. We've got to have our mind sharp, our bodies as fresh as possible going into Game 1.

Instead, it's on to Game No. 82 on Wednesday night to decide it all. So one can surely expect a full-bore attempt to right the ship heading into this weekend's start of the playoffs, right? "I feel great. I'm not going backward".

By the time the Cavs arrived in Miami on Monday, they had pretty much conceded the East to Boston by resting LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. So it is not like the Cavaliers have blown the Pacers out of the water this season. Well, those don't matter now. The Cleveland Cavaliers have fallen out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, after a loss to the Miami Heat Monday night where both James and Kyrie Irving sat out.

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