After losing a step or two in the regular season and appearing vulnerable in the first round, the Cleveland Cavaliers have regained their confidence with three-straight wins over the top-seeded East team in the Toronto Raptors.

In those wins, LeBron James flexed his muscles while receiving ample support from his teammates. However, two those wins came in close games in which James, while being his usual world-class self, had production coming elsewhere too. The series could’ve been easily 2-1 in favor of the Raptors.

That is why coach Tyronn Lue is quick to remind his troops that they are facing a team that owns a Top 5 offense and defense. That alone should send warning signals all over Cleveland that the team must not be blinded by the 3-0 series score.

Via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

“They’re going to come out swinging like they did [Saturday] night, and when you have a team with a lot of pride that’s well-coached, they’re not just going to give in. They’re going to do everything they can to try to win the game and get back to Toronto. We understand that, and we just have to come out with the right mindset and match their intensity early and try to close it out if we can.”

Both the Cavs and Raptors are entering Game 4 with plenty of motivation, but the latter is the more dangerous team by virtue if their desperation. All the success they’ve experienced in the regular season could be put to naught if they get the broom treatment.

For Cleveland, coach Lue thinks the Indiana Pacers series that reached a seventh game prepared them well for situations like this. They’ve experienced losing out on a closeout opportunity and playing against a physical team. They can’t drop the ball again this time.