Jonas Valanciunas earned a Flagrant 1 for that foul, which is about right. That’s not a basketball play, that’s putting a guy to the floor. I don’t think Valanciunas meant anything by it — if you’re going to foul LeBron James you better foul hard or he’ll go right through you for the and-1 — and that’s why he tried to help LeBron up.
But LeBron was having none of it.
From the Raptors’ perspective, I’ll take that foul. Toronto struggled to contain Cleveland’s offense all night so a little intimidation in the paint is something I could live with if I’m coach Dwane Casey. And Valanciunas put up big numbers — 26 points and 11 rebounds.
If I’m Cleveland, I’ll just take the win, thank you very much. Cleveland, Toronto, and Chicago are all in a virtual tie for the two, three and four seeds now in the East. Wins like this show why Cleveland will finish the two seed.