Dispatching A Single Rookie To Impede LeBron James With The Game On The Line Is A Curious Strategy

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Two days after the Raptors helplessly watched LeBron James float a dozen black hole grenades through their nets, one might expect Toronto to do everything in their power to prevent him from pulverizing their hearts in the final moments of Game 3. Instead, they left the entire task up to rookie OG Anunoby.

LeBron himself probably expected more resistance. During his six-second full-court gallop, he was met only by the 20-year-old Anunoby, who gave him the kind of defensive cushion seen mostly on Sunday mornings at your local Y.

Anonuby’s decision to slide under Kevin Love’s screen set off the disaster sequence for the Raptors, but it’s not as if he had much help after that anyway. Pascal Siakam could have hedged Love’s screen or helped cut off LeBron after half court, but instead he looked the other way as if two strangers just started an argument on public transit. C.J. Miles apparently felt Kyle Korver in the corner was more of a threat than LeBron with a clear path to the hoop, refusing to budge when LeBron started his drive. And Kyle Lowry, bless his heart, left his man on the other side of the court, seemingly to get a better view of the game-winner.

The Raptors doomed themselves when they deemed LeBron James was no more of a threat in these final moments than his teammates, a head-scratching decision that will likely lead to the disintegration of this coaching staff and roster. Just another thing for LeBron to add to his legacy. |ES|