Cavaliers, Raptors renew playoff rivalry beginning May 1

02 May, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Whomst will it

DeRozan agreed, saying there's "no question" the Raptors are better equipped to face Cleveland than in years past.

The Cavs will defeat the Raptors 4-2 in this series.

Things could be different this time around, now that Toronto looks like the better team. And what about some of the solutions the Cavs seemed to have found in Game 7?

Can Thompson deliver for more than one game - A forgotten man for the first six games of their series against IN in which he logged just 23 minutes, of which 14 was garbage time IN Cleveland's Game 6 blowout loss, center Tristan Thompson was thrown into the starting lineup by coach Tyronn Lue and responded with his best game of the entire 2017/18 season as he totaled 15 points and ten rebounds, grabbing five offensive boards and making five of six shots IN 35 minutes. That relates to what seems to be the key for the young Raptor: his positioning, which forces opponents into more hard shots. Toronto claimed the number one seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history.

But fatigue could be a factor against a Toronto team that punched their second-round ticket on Friday. The three-time NBA Finals MVP averaged the highest rebound and assist numbers per 36 minutes of his career, along with his joint-third highest scoring total per game. And the real key is this: When any other player on the Raptors marked James, the clip the Cavaliers' offense scored at ballooned to 1.38 points per possession.

At this point in his career James no doubt considers any season that does not end with a championship parade to be a failure. Having him surrounded with three knockdown shooters is a tough task for any team to deal with.

"There's nothing like a game seven", said Cleveland's Tristan Thompson. Especially since Thompson only played just 23 minutes combined in the prior six games. LeBron James got his 26 points, but only had 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and was -22.

One who is familiar with dominance is Charles Oakley, the former Chicago Bull who played with Michael Jordan during his heyday.

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The big names are the same between Cleveland and Toronto: LeBron, Love, Lue, Lowry, DeRozan, Casey.

Asked if James is exhausted, Lue said, "Just after the game, but not during the game".

LeBron James is LeBron James and gets some help. Anunoby gives up bulk and could need help that would leave Kyle Korver, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith open for three-point shots.

A second day of practice in preparation for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't exactly bring anything new or earth-shattering from the Toronto Raptors. Despite a strong push and almost every reason to believe this Pacers team could advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, here are the key reasons why instead, the Cinderella season is sadly over.

The Raptors had 79 points at the half in Cleveland in this game (March 21st). Cleveland won the regular season series 2-1, but Toronto is favored (-205) to win this series. Narrowly escaping the first round could be a wakeup call for the rest of the Cavs team. However, the Cavs are a very poor defensive team so potentially Powell could hit some shots in a cupcake matchup.

LeBron is the best player in the series and he has an edge mentally against Toronto's stars.

Despite the Cavs ending the Raptors season the last two season, Charles Barkley is fully in the camp of the team from the 6ix.


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