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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors, 5-1-2018 - Expert Prediction

02 May, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Arnold Gilbert
  • Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors, 5-1-2018 - Expert Prediction

In 2016, the Cavaliers defeated the Raptors in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals on the way to their first-ever NBA Championship, and past year, Cleveland swept through Toronto in the East Semifinals ahead of a third consecutive trip to The Finals. But - and here's that line again: both teams are very different than the squads that tangled in the previous two years.

Is it me or have we seen this movie before?

HOUSTON - James Harden scored 41 points and Houston raced out to a huge lead and sailed to a 110-96 win over Utah in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

LeBron was magnificent throughout, leading the Cavs in points, minutes, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, but his teammates pulled off the kind of disappearing act that would make David Copperfield jealous.

By the time James checked back in, the Cavs had pushed their lead to 10 and only had to withstand one more charge to silence the Pacers.

Everything seemed to click for the Raptors this season.

56 - Points by James in March of 2005, the third-highest scoring game of his career. The Cleveland Cavaliers will be -5.5 over the Indiana Pacers in game 7.

The Pacers were able to wear LeBron out because they were able to leave Bojan Bogdanović on an island to deal with James for most of the series. These guys haven't significantly made the Cavs better.

In Game 7 against the Pacers, he said he expected to play the entire game, then sat for about five minutes after he suffered cramps. Toronto averaged 109.1 points per game against the Wizards in round one. Cleveland has the Brooklyn Nets eighth projected pick, which means they can only get better should LeBron stay. Seriously? And the core for the Raptors hasn't changed in those year, just like Cleveland.

Finally making a start, Tristan Thompson scored 15 points and 10 rebounds, after playing just 24 minutes in the first six games.

Game after game, James has needed to post Herculean numbers in order to even make the games competitive.

Nobody has lorded over the Raptors like King James. The Philadelphia 76ers are a young team, but they are only going to get better and will attract some FA's this summer.

The quantified shot quality (qSQ) of opponents in the paint who took at least three dribbles prior to their shot and were closest to Anunoby this season was 45.6.

Cleveland is 11-18 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season. In Toronto on Tuesday, they'll face a Raptors team whose depth allows them to throw fresh bodies on the floor and keep up a pace that few teams - especially Cleveland - simply can't match.

For the third consecutive May, the Toronto Raptors' season will come down to whether they can vanquish LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, only this year provides distinct advantages for Toronto that Cleveland previously enjoyed in the seemingly annual matchup. LeBron is also 18th in career regular-season minutes played, despite being 54th in career games played.

Cleveland's second unit was a disappointment in the First Round. Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood were a combined 4-of-26 from 3-point range in the first round. Larry Nance Jr. did well as a rim runner, but his defense left lots to be desired.

He took to Twitter after Game 7 to remind everyone that James is capable of single-handedly carrying a team just as he did in the first round.



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