Defending Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to get back into the Finals as they try to sweep their best of seven series against the Toronto Raptors. As the Cavaliers aim for a 2-0 advantage, the Raptors will try to bounce back from a dismal performance to redeem themselves.
The Cavaliers have shown that they are ready to go for a sweep as they have shown in Game One wherein they overwhelmed the Raptors, 115-84. In Game One, the Cavaliers were all business with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James leading the scoring chores finishing the game with 27 and 24 points, respectively. James dominated the game with his post up game, wherein the Raptors missed the services of Jonas Valanciunas, who was sidelined due to an injury.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 18, 2016
Aside from Irving and James, there is also the dynamic duo of Kevin Love and J.R. Smith, who are both healthy and stepping up. It would be remembered that the Cavaliers lost their finals bid last season when Love suffered an injury while Smith was nowhere to be found in the scoring department. The Cavaliers are hoping to see Love and Smith get their groove together and join in the total domination of the series.
On the other hand, as the Cavaliers are having their way the Toronto Raptors are back in the drawing board and are trying to figure out what went wrong with their plans. As seen in Game One, the Raptors only dictated the tempo in the first quarter and after that were placed on the mercy of James and company.
DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were a missing link to the Raptors offense, thanks to the disciplined defense implemented by the Cavaliers. DeRozan struggled on their opening series finishing the game with 18 points while Lowry was completely absent from the scoring as he only settled with eight points. Adding to their woes is that center Bismack Biyombo and James Johnson were the only players who backed up DeRozan’s double digit figures having 12 and 10 markers, in that order.
Tonight marks the first time Kyle Lowry & DeMar DeRozan were both held to 0 FTAs in the same game as teammates pic.twitter.com/LLaFAFQFYq
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) May 18, 2016
For the Raptors to even level the series, Lowry must step up together with other teammates including Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson, DeMarre Caroll and Corey Joseph. There has been no official word if Valanciunas will be able to suit up anytime soon to help in enforcing the shaded area, until then the Raptors have to strengthen their defense if ever they want to make a comeback from their embarrassing lost.
Ross told Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com that for them to beat the Cavaliers is to go back to how they beat them during the regular season and from there pick themselves up and go back fighting.
“We beat them [in the regular season], so we don’t feel like we have anything to fear like they’re a super team or anything,” Ross said. “But we’re just going out there to play our game and compete.”
Expect the Cavaliers to take off strong in Game Two and take it from where they left in Game One while the Raptors will try to hold on and expect their stars Lowry and DeRozan to show up with major numbers for them to avoid a sweep.
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