I've said it before and I'll say it again here. 2020 has mostly been trash, I think we can all agree there. But I still think one of the cool parts of being alive during this era is shit like this. Current players having these podcasts/media outlets talking to other active players about a wide variety of topics. I always find this kind of stuff interesting.
Which brings me to this interview with DeMar DeRozan. If that wasn't the most honest thing I've ever heard I don't know what is. Those poor Raptors teams man, LeBron just owned their entire existence. It started in the 2015-16 season, LeBron promptly eliminated the Raptors in three straight seasons. The Raptors won a total of 2 games. That's a 2-12 record for those not great at math.
The numbers back up the record too. For his playoff career, LeBron averaged 31/8/7 on 58% shooting against the Raptors. That's pretty insane. Not just the production, but the efficiency. The Raptors were usually one of the better defensive teams in the league. In the first two years they played the Raptors were right outside the top 10, and the final year Toronto had a top 5 defense.
It didn't matter what the Raptors did, who they added, what type of season they had, if they found themselves matched up against LeBron in a playoff series, it was curtains. So no shit they were relieved when he finally wasn't in the East anymore. No surprise they won the title in their first postseason run without LeBron either. Sure having Kawhi helped, but given their history I'm not sure that would have mattered.
I love how honest DeRozan was too. That their whole mindset was just getting past one dude. You know how many Eastern Conference contenders had that same mentality? All of them. Unfortunately, nobody was ever able to do it. The look on his face when he talked about him now being in the West and LeBron being in the West and he's back in the Finals said it all. A classic "god dammit" look if I've ever seen one.
I'm trying to think of another guy who has owned a particular team in recent years in the playoffs. Maybe Steph Curry vs the Rockets? He's putting up 25/5/5 on 46% shooting in 20 career playoff games with the Rockets being 7-16 all time vs GS. LeBron has been a problem for the Celts in his playoff career, putting up 29/8/6 but at least they actually beat him in two huge series.
I know they're out there though. So I'll toss it to you guys. Who is one guy that always dominated your favorite team in a playoff series? Where no matter what they did you knew that if they had to play this one dude that there was no chance you were going to win that series. Let's take LeBron out of it because let's be honest, he's ruined the lives of like half the goddamn league.