LeBron James owns the NBA’s Eastern Conference and isn’t ready to let go

The Toronto Raptors just completed easily the most successful three-year stretch in franchise history — and then fired their coach.

Why? Because Dwane Casey failed in the same way that virtually every Eastern Conference coach has over the past dozen seasons: He failed to stop LeBron James in the playoffs. And as James nears the end of his 15th season, the gap between him and the rest of the East has arguably never felt greater.

“I’m definitely not a one-man army,” James told reporters Friday, in response to a question about him being responsible for Casey’s firing.

Yet over the past dozen years, that’s essentially what he has been to the list of potential contenders in the Eastern Conference — and a nearly indestructible one at that. Having reached the NBA Finals in eight of the past 11 years, he will attempt to do so once again when he leads his Cleveland Cavaliers into the conference finals, which begin Sunday afternoon in Boston.

Since first reaching the postseason in the 2005-06 season — his third year in the league — James is 31-4 in playoff series against Eastern Conference foes. His four losses came against great teams: the 64-win Detroit Pistons in 2006; the 66-win Boston Celtics in 2008; the 59-win Orlando Magic

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2018/05/12/lebron-james-owns-the-nbas-eastern-conference-and-isnt-ready-to-let-go/

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