The Toronto Raptors wasted yet another impressive regular season, as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers easily dispatched the East's top seed in a clean four-game sweep.
It's the third consecutive year in which the Cavaliers beat the Raptors in the playoffs, and the third time in four years where Toronto was swept in a postseason series. But considering the record 59 wins, this playoff defeat definitely stings more than the others.
The Raptors should undoubtedly feel disappointed and a bit embarrassed, because they became the first team in 49 years to set this woeful feat:
The 1968-69 Washington Bullets won 57 games, but the New York Knicks swept them in four games. Of course, the Knicks actually won 54 games that season, so they were no slouches themselves.
But the Raptors were expected to at least push Cleveland to the very edge, as LeBron and co. needed seven games to get past the fifth-seeded Indiana Pacers in Game 1. But as usual, the Raptors fell short in the postseason when it mattered most, and one has to wonder if massive changes are coming.
The good news for Toronto is that they aren't the only first seed to be sent home by LeBron in the Eastern Conference. The 2006-07 Detroit Pistons, 2010-11 Chicago Bulls, 2013-14 Indiana Pacers, 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks (who won 60 games), and 2016-17 Boston Celtics were also first seeds that couldn't beat The King. The Hawks and Raptors are the only ones who were swept, however.
On one hand, there's no shame in losing to LeBron - who is easily the best player of this generation. But when you win a record 59 games and face a tired Cavaliers team, you have to steal at least one game, maybe two.
The Raptors once again proved to be no challenge for LeBron and the Cavaliers. And they wasted their greatest season in franchise history, one that definitely won't be topped any time soon.