Wednesday night (March 22) in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena, LeBron James and the Cavaliers appeared well-polished offensively, defeating the Eastern Conference first-place Toronto Raptors. James ended the first quarter with eight assists and zero turnovers. According to SportsCenter, LeBron James is the first player to score 35+ points and have 15+ assists with zero turnovers. On the defensive side, the Cavs gave up 79 points in the first half and 129 points to finish the game. Even though the Cavaliers out-hustled the Raptors 132-129, the Raptors led in a majority of the stat columns.

Outrebounding the Cavaliers 33-32, leading in assists 32-28, blocks 5-3, fewer turnovers, and more points in the paint 54-50. The Raptors looked good on paper but couldn't get the job done as the Cavaliers shot 60.3 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three. Both teams showed no effort on the defensive end in this high-scoring contest. I say this could be a 2018 Eastern Conference Final preview, but it didn't seem to have that playoff feel just yet.

Is no Tryonn Lue better for Cavaliers?

I'm not sure if Tyronn Lue was an issue for the Cavs. A few games ago, Tyronn Lue and LeBron James exchanged a few heated words on the sideline after LeBron lacked effort on the defensive end. Early Monday morning (March 19), Head Coach Tyronn Lue announced he would be taking a break due to health issues.

Is this better for the Cavs? Maybe. LeBron is in full control now and with the return of Kevin Love, the Cavaliers showed a little more fire power. Shooting 60 percent from the field and 62 percent from three, offensively the Cavs look like they can compete in the East. Defensively the Cavs still struggle. Should the Cavaliers be worried ?

Well, they have 11 games left before the playoffs and no head coach Tyronn Lue. They host Toronto again in Cleveland. Depending on how they respond and match up defensively, they should be worried. Defense wins championships and the Cavaliers have been on a rollercoaster this season on the defensive end.

Moving forward should the Raptors be worried?

Yes, the Raptors have let their fans down a couple years in a row as they flame out in the playoffs. After that horrible defensive effort against the Cavaliers, the Raptors should be ashamed and worried. With the No. 1 seed in the East, teams are coming for the Raptors. The team now has a history of great seasons and then totally blowing it in the playoffs. I would be worried if I were a Raptors fan, simply because this is the time to play even better basketball. Defensively, the Raptors look confused. To give up 132 points to a frustrated Cavaliers team should have them worried.