Lowdown: Amazing when you consider the 100-game track record on both sides. LeBron’s dominance of the Eastern Conference the last seven years is almost identical to that of the Lakers in the Western Conference in the 1980s. The Lakers lost one series in that stretch, but they were pushed to seven games only twice, both coming in 1987-88 against the Jazz and Mavericks, respectively.
Lowdown: The Cavaliers are 24-2 in the first two rounds since James returned, and that includes five 4-0 sweeps. The Lakers went 18-0 in first-round games, which were best-of-five at the time, when the playoff format expanded in 1983-84.
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Chicago gave Rondo’s starting role to Jerian Grant at first, but his inexperience proved costly as he wasn’t effective. In Game 4, the Bulls gave Isaiah Canaan the majority of the minutes and have decided to name him the Game 5 starter over Grant.
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As for Rondo, his health has improved this week. He was spotted at Bulls practice Tuesday putting up shots with his left hand. The cast on his right hand was removed Monday for his wrist injury, but the guard is still wearing a splint for his thumb.
This is honestly the first time he has touched a basketball with that right hand, (so) we’ll see how it goes, Hoiberg told reporters Tuesday. He’s going to continue to condition and do everything he can. He was in the weight room (Monday) getting a good session for the first time, so he’s really just getting this whole process started.