The Cleveland Cavaliers, after dismantling the Toronto Raptors in game five 116-78, are headed back to the great white north to try and end the Eastern Conference Finals once and for all. Cleveland is 0-2 so far at Toronto and it’s a chance for Raptors fans to be hopeful.
When the Cavs have won, they have an average of 113 points a game and a victory margin of 29.3 points per game. It’s surprising to read those stats and believe that Toronto is only down one game in the series.
Toronto has shown that they can keep up with the Cavs when they play at home. The Raptors won game three by 15 points and held off a late Cavs rally in the second half of game four and won by six. They’re not the offensive juggernaut that the Cavs are but their home court defense can stop anyone.
Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James combined for 71 of the 116 points scored in game five. That was almost enough to outscore Toronto’s point total for the game (76) and Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for only 27 points in the game. When the duo of Lowry and DeRozen score under 30 points in a game, the Raptors are 1-7 in the playoffs this season.
The Cavaliers need to keep their offensive dominance going from game five if they hope to finally get a win in Toronto. It seems that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have trouble finding their shot in these road games.
Speaking of which, Kevin Love needs to keep getting fed inside the paint to open up the floor for the other shooters to get open shots. LeBron should have no problem driving to the basket but like I said, this Raptor defense at home is nothing to be taken lightly.
Kyrie isn’t having trouble penetrating the paint and getting to the rim, but finishing seems to be his problem. Although he’s been efficient scoring the entire playoffs, Kyrie should sit back and play more of a true point guard role and let Love, James, J.R. Smith and the bench do the heavy lifting.
As for the Raptors, Lowry and DeRozen need to take over this game early like they have in past road game. They need to score more than 30 combined and have another 20+ rebound and defensive perfection from Bismack Biyombo. It’ll be interesting to see how Biyombo will be used now that Jonas Valanciunas is now back in the rotation.
I think the Cavs will close out the series tonight. It won’t be pretty but I don’t think Kevin Love will show up and be a factor in the win. Although Lowry and DeRozen will have a good game, it won’t be enough to outscore the red hot Cavs. I say Cavs 99-87.