A Celtics loss combined with a Cleveland win against the Raptors on the same night would give the Cavs the No. 1 seed, but it looks as if James won't be playing in that one, either.
Cleveland, which knocked Toronto out of the conference finals last season, lost its last four games and will be the No. 2 seed entering the Eastern Conference playoffs. There have been multiple instances of the players downplaying the importance of the regular season, assuming they will be fine once the playoffs roll around.
Lue said he'd been planning for the Pacers for a couple days, when it became apparent the Cavs would likely finish second and IN would hold onto the No. 7 seed IN the East. "If we do that, get our fans involved, get the city really behind us again, I think it could be (as good as 2016)". He's said they would try to take away the team's strength, which is Paul George. Cleveland took Toronto down in six games in last year's Eastern Conference finals. "I am who I am all year, but I get even more locked in throughout the postseason, understanding the magnitude of the games".
Toronto is the No. 3 seed and will face either Milwaukee or Indiana. The Raptors have higher expectations this spring, and Lowry is eager to get started.
"We have a job to do", George said. "This is a heck of a time".
Sanders, who hadn't played since early in the 2014-15 season, appeared in five games for the Cavs and four for Canton.
Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Miami.
The biggest highlight was Valanciunas' long shot. He's played in 12 career games for Atlanta. He backpedaled on defence and raised his arms in triumph as his teammates celebrated as if he had just hit a game-winner.
With six straight visits to the Finals on his resume, James knows his way around the playoffs better than any player in the league, and maybe better than anyone in history.
The Boston Celtics (53-29) edged the Cavaliers for the top seed this season, taking advantage of a three-game winning streak and four-game skid by Cleveland following their final regular-season meeting on April 5.
Now the Playoffs are here and we have all 15 guys healthy", Lue declared. "That's the most important thing to me, to this organization and to our team. "It's just time to get it rolling".
Since 2015, Cleveland has a 13-1 playoff home record.
But in the last matchup, the Cavs had to go to double overtime in a 135-130 victory.
The Pacers however are red hot, Paul George in particular.
Since the day the Cavaliers signed Sanders in mid-March, the big man hasn't contributed much-if at all-in the National Basketball Association.
Miles averages 10.7 points per game with a 43.4 shooting percentage - 41.3 percent from 3 - but against the Cavs those numbers jump to 56 percent from 3 and 61.7 percent from the field. Vince Carter averaged 27.6 in 2000-2001. Lue still refers to Smith as the team's best wing defender, a status he's certainly proved capable of deserving.
Heat: Host Washington on Wednesday, looking to go 4-0 against the Wizards this season. The well-liked Jones also brings some accountability.