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Notes from Shootaround: Raptors get set for Game 6 with their season on the line

The Raptors were up early talking about Game 6. What are they saying?

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors have been in elimination games before this post-season. The went the full seven against both the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat in the first two rounds of the playoffs. That's a lot of stress. If they manage to beat the Cavaliers tonight, they'll be the first team since the 1988 Lakers to go for three seven-game series in a row. Not the best feat, sure, but something nonetheless.

It's something because, well, the Raptors have looked bad in all of their losses in this series against LeBron James and Cleveland. They're coming off an absolute shellacking in Game 5 in which just about every part of their game looked bad. When a returned-from-injury Jonas Valanciunas and his encouraging output in 18 minutes is your highlight, your team is on the wrong end of a beatdown.

So how are the Raptors feeling in advance of Game 6, with their season on the line? Let's see.

Kyle Lowry is in good (sarcastic) spirits.

DeMar DeRozan has also learned something valuable:

But the Raptors are up against something a little different this time around. For an assessment of LeBron James, human dynamo (or good monster, depending on who you ask), Dwane Casey has some words:

It's hard to disagree with this analysis. LeBron James has been just about as invincible as you'd expect. The only ploy that's worked on him so far, is when the Raptors have sagged off on him and dared him to shoot jumpers. He's hit a few, but this is definitely the best outcome by far these days when LeBron has the ball in his hands.

We have to end this on a less ominous note, however, so here's a funny anecdote regarding Casey's, uh, defense on the sidelines:

There's an old NBA maxim amongst coaches: If Jerry Sloan does it, you can do it too.

Now, onward to Game 6!