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NBA Playoffs 2017: LeBron James ended this Raptors season, and that’s OK

Games 3 and 4 might be an extended wake for this Raptors team, but that doesn’t mean you should stop believing.

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Since it’s demoralizing to write about another blowout victory at the hands of the Cavs, here’s two tweets to sum up the Raptors right now:

LeBron looked at the basketball like a closer examining a baseball before firing a 100 mile per hour fastball on the outside edge past a hopeless swing of some light hitting middle infielder. This has been the Raptors’ place so far this series.

The starting lineup changes did nothing, as over-passing and reluctance to even take an open or semi-open look made the offense arguably worse than Game 1. Jonas Valanciunas had by far the best night, and the dude had maybe the worst individual defensive game from a player this season.

Following last night’s game, there’s been two main schools of thought going around on Raptors and NBA Twitter about this group. Obviously one side believes that blowing it up is the way to go, since this core will never be able to legitimately get over the top in the East. The other side is behind the idea of running it back, making some changes (whether it be supporting cast, coaching staff, etc.) and trying again, because rebuilding is a task that has no surefire way to capture or recapture success. This franchise had been a doormat for so long that a full-scale rebuild runs the risk if sinking the team back into the depths of NBA irrelevancy.

Being a person who is quite over-reactionary, the pendulum on my opinion of what to do swings with every show watched and every piece read. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. During the drubbing last night, you feel like there’s an inevitability to this team having to be blown up, after watching collective failure and a sad and angry Kyle Lowry forced to leave with injury.

Then when you wake up this morning, you read the takes (including one here and over here), you come to terms with this team’s reality, and weigh it against the alternative.

Down 2-0 in a series against the best player of this generation (and perhaps of all-time), there’s a place for the cynicism of Harsh, John and myself (and the rest of the HQ staff). But there’s also a place for the Prince of Positivity Sean Woodley, because we may as well enjoy what could be the last few games of this team as we know it.

Do I know the Raptors will lose this series? Yes, of course.

Will I also go into these next two home games screaming and hollering from my seat inside the ACC, fully hoping the Raps can pull off an upset? You know it.

The time for off-season, draft and trade talk is not right now. For now, you gotta believe.