It’s a dramatic game of their historic post-season run, the Toronto Raptors have just bounced back and made their way back to even up the Eastern Conference Finals with a 105-99 win over Cavaliers on Monday. The series is now tied at two games apiece and Game 5 will be played in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Although the Cavaliers managed to take the lead in the middle of the fourth quarter after trailing by 18 and shooting only 39 percent for the half, but the Raptors’ defensive play was proven to be too much for the struggling Cavaliers. The result was devastating for the Cavs. It’s a kind of game in which the Raptors were able to do whatever it wanted, and the Cleveland were powerless to stop it.
After losing their first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Raptors have finally bounced back in the Game 3 with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combining for 52 points on the Raptors victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
While many thought that LeBron James and his Cavaliers would make a strong comeback effort in Game 4, what happened instead was truly unexpected- an even stronger performance by the Raptors, as Lowry and DeRozan both exceeded the 30-point mark.
It’s an impressive display of performance from the Raptors, who have shot around 49 percent from the field and 35 percent from downtown. It’s not a clever thing, the Raptors were just using the same strategy Cavaliers have used in all playoffs, which include constant ball movement on the perimeter and the post.
But the biggest changes the crowd has seen from the Raptors is the prevention of the second chance basket to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the team rebounding, which making the killing for the Raptors.
In addition to the rebounding game, the Raptors also played the passing lanes well. All of these ball game strategy and changes have proved to be effective in winning the game for the Raptors.
The Cavs looked nearly unstoppable in the last 10 games of the NBA postseason, scoring 108.5 points per game and beating opponents by an average of 13.4 points per game. However, the last two games of the Cavs have seen some trouble, the Cavaliers have scored just 91.5 points per game. The Cavaliers are not looking good, they just shot 41 three-point attempts, and only made 13 of them.
Defensively, the team was careless, they got many chances to take control of the ball game, but failed to get consecutive defensive stops. One of the good examples of these horrible ball games is when James made an impossible pass to Richard Jefferson in the fourth quarter of the game to take the one-point lead. The Raptors went back in the game and scored.
Some players like Channing Frye were reportedly frustrated with the Cavaliers’ poor defense effort in Game 4. Some analysts have already described the Cavs’ Game 3 and 4 performances as one of their worst defensive performances in the NBA playoffs, which they played badly in every facet of the game on both ends of the court.
When the Cavaliers won its first two series, they are unstoppable and tend to think that they’re invincible. The Game 3 and 4 losses are the reality check for the Cavaliers, a time for rethinking and changes.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers will get their chance in a must-win game on Wednesday and if the Cavaliers want to win the Eastern Conference and get their shot at the NBA Finals, then they need to protect their home-court advantage in a pivotal Game 5.
Picture Courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
ESPN First Take Full Show – Toronto Raptors Defeat Cleveland Cavaliers In Game 4:
Video Courtesy: ESPN First Take Today/Youtube.com