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Tyronn Lue calls it a 'relief' to finally learn conference finals foe

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- And on the seventh day, an Eastern Conference finals opponent finally emerged for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After a weeklong layoff, the Cavs were finally able to rejoice in the knowledge of what team they will be facing in Tuesday's Game 1 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) following the Toronto Raptors' decisive 116-89 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 7 of their second round series on Sunday.

"We're about to get our work in now, we know who we're playing," LeBron James said prior to a rare evening practice for the Cavs as the team waited until Heat-Raptors was finished to begin their session around 6:30 p.m. "We're going to start diving in on their personnel, diving in on what they do best. They were chasing us all year for the No. 1 seed. We look forward to the matchup, just as well as we looked forward to Detroit and also Atlanta as well."

What Cleveland wouldn't do was look back at its regular-season series with Toronto -- which the Raptors won 2-1 -- as any indicator of how the conference finals could go.

"We're a totally different team than the regular season," James said.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue echoed James' sentiment. "Nothin'," Lue said when asked what the Cavs could learn from their previous games with the Raptors.

Kyrie Irving followed suit, simply saying, "No," when asked if he could draw anything from those meetings, with both of the Cavs' losses coming at the Air Canada Centre.

Irving later changed his stance ever so slightly, allowing that the Cavs' experience in those losses in Toronto -- two games in which Cleveland held fourth quarter leads only to fold down the stretch -- could help them when the series shifts north for Games 3 and 4.

"Being in Toronto, that's one thing I probably can take from the regular season is how loud it is in there," he said.

As loud as that arena might be, the Cavs-Raptors series is sure to be less noisy from an intrigue perspective than if the Cavs faced James' former team in the Heat.

After openly pining for the chance to play his old crew earlier in the postseason, James was mum on the subject of the reunion not happening when asked about it on Sunday.

"No," was all James said when asked if he was lamenting the fact that he missed out on the chance to compete against his friend Dwyane Wade.

With the Heat out of the picture, the questions surrounding Game 1 are simple: Will Jonas Valanciunas be available after an ankle sprain caused him to miss most of the second round? And will the long layoff affect the Cavs in any way?

Lue said the Cavs will prepare as if Valanciunas will play. And as for the extended rest?

"I've always said anytime you get an opportunity to get some rest throughout the course of our season, it's always beneficial for anybody," James said. "Doesn't matter if you're a 31-year-old guy who's played a lot of basketball or you're a 19-year-old kid who just came into the league. It doesn't matter; you get a couple days in the postseason, there's a benefit."

In two short days, the wait will be over.

"They're ready to play," Lue said. "I think [Sunday], it was a relief. Now we know who we're playing and now we can get focused and now we can lock in on what we're trying to do."