NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers Look to Eliminate Raptors

Cavaliers NBA Playoffs 2018

Raptors Have Been Dominated by Cavaliers

The Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers meet in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series on Monday. Lebron James has thoroughly destroyed the Raptors this series. The way he is playing it doesn’t matter who he was playing. He is the best player on the planet right now.

Oddsmakers opened the Cavaliers as -5.5-point favorites versus the Raptors, while the game’s total opened at 213. The is now Cleveland -5 and the total is at 214.  TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC.

The Raptors are in a 3-0 hole to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  They were in the same situation at this time a year ago and the Cavs brought out the brooms. The closet door is wide open again. King James, and company, is rummaging around and about to grab the handle.

The Cavs have never lost Game 4 of a series in which they won the first three games.

History suggests the Raptors’ deficit in this series is basically non-recoverable. Not like they have been destroyed. The Cavs won two games by a combined three points. They blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 3. Then won it on James’ stunning bank shot while falling away from the hoop as time expired.

Cavaliers Have to Keep Playing Good D

James has been brilliant in the postseason. His stat sheet is glimmering with 34.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 8.8 assists per game. His 348 points through 10 playoff games are the most since Michael Jordan scored 354 through 10 postseason games in 1992.

But James is averaging 41.7 minutes per game and played all 82 regular-season games.

Cleveland also needs Kevin Love to keep chipping in with some quality production. Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith are liable to get hot at any time as well. James can’t keep putting up these type of minutes.

Raptors Have to Play with Heart and Determination

The Raptors made Game 3 close behind the efforts of Kyle Lowry. He scored 15 of his 27 during the comeback. DeMar DeRozan was just 3 of 12 for eight points in the game. He was on the bench for the entire Toronto comeback.

HC Dwayne Casey also made a lineup change in Game 3. He inserted a third guard, Fred VanVleet, for Serge Ibaka. The matchup changes resulted in Cavs role players JR Smith and Tristan Thompson both being shut out from scoring. At least the Raptors hope so.

Toronto won a franchise-record 59 games during the regular season, and earning the top seed in the East for the first time. The Raptors are quickly searching for answers to stop Cleveland.

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Next up:
Toronto home to Cleveland Wednesday, May 9

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