The Cleveland Cavaliers are one win away before reaching the NBA Finals for two consecutive years. However, they will be entering again the Raptors’ territory in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals where their opponent has mastered defending their home.
The homecourt advantage became a huge factor in the Eastern Conference Finals matchup where both teams succeeded in winning in their own arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the Game 1, 2 and 5 at the Quicken Loans Arena while the Toronto Raptors won Game 3 and 4 at the Air Canada Centre. However, their last clash seemed to be too much after the Cavaliers defeated the Raptors with a 38-point lead.
The return of Jonas Valanciunas for the Toronto Raptors did not help stop the dominance of the Cavaliers’ big three, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, where they combined for 71 points in Game 5. Valanciunas may have recovered from injury, but he has not yet regained his 100% performance on the court. However, Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey used the Game 5’s ‘free time’ in order to familiarize Valanciunas from the Eastern Conference Finals’ atmosphere and get back his rhythm.
Both teams are expected to go all out in the next game. The Toronto Raptors needs to do their best to extend the series up to Game 7. On the other hand, the Cleveland Cavaliers should win the Game 6 before Jonas Valanciunas get back his 100% performance and to have longer preparation for the NBA Finals.
It will be exciting to see on how Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey will use Bismack Biyombo and Jonas Valanciunas since they are both assigned to the center position. Valanciunas may be the preferred player in the starting lineup but Biyombo has proven how he can help the Raptors win the series.
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors will be on Friday, May 27 8:30 p.m. ET at the Air Canada Centre.
Cavs vs Raptors Game 6 Live Streaming: WatchESPN
Photo courtesy: NBA.com
Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA Conference