Cavaliers vs Raptors Playoff Preview

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs (3) Toronto Raptors

 

Playoff Results: Cavaliers defeated Pacers 4-0, Raptors defeated Bucks 4-2

 

Season Series Results: Cavaliers 3-1

 

10/28  Cavaliers 94  Raptors 91

11/15  Cavaliers 121  Raptors 117

12/5   Cavaliers 116  Raptors 112

4/12   Raptors 98  Cavaliers 83

 

Key Factors:

Off Rtg

Def Rtg

Efg%

Tov%

Cavaliers

113.6

110.3

54.7

12.6

Raptors

112.3

107.8

51.7

11.8

 

 

Key Matchup: Lowry vs Irving

As we saw in the first round against the Bucks Lowry struggled through most of the series something that is becoming a common theme for him in the playoffs. His opposition in this series Kyrie Irving also struggled in the first round as his defense was constantly exploited and his shot wasn’t falling at nearly the same rate as the regular season. If Irving struggles the Raptors chances increase but Toronto can not beat Cleveland with Lowry struggling like he did against Milwaukee.

 

X-Factor for Cavaliers: LeBron James

At this point in his career we expect LeBron to make it to the NBA Finals and this series is not different. If James continue to play great basketball and still show no signs of slowing down then the Cavaliers will always be the favorite in the East however if he struggles or his minutes start to take a toll then Toronto could pull the upset.

 

X-Factor for Raptors: DeMar DeRozan

With Lowry struggling DeRozan was able to pick up the slack and turn a 2-1 series deficit into a 4-2 series win. If he can find a way to be efficient and get buckets then Toronto’s offense will be in good position to win but if he and Lowry struggle the Raptors don’t have a shot.

 

Analysis: Last year the Raptors took Cleveland to 6 games and this season Toronto is improved meanwhile the Cavaliers defense has become a huge Achilles heel. It feels like Toronto should have a good shot at forcing 7 and possibly pulling the upset but with LeBron playing great ball and Lowry struggling I cant feel safe in picking the Raptors or 7 games. Cleveland has the best player in the game and shooters everywhere and it should be enough to keep the Raptors from pulling an upset.

 

Prediction: Cavaliers over Raptors in 6

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