Cavs vs Raps Preview
Tuesday night the number one seeded Toronto Raptors will take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers for the third time in 3 years in the conference semifinals. Only difference, this time Toronto will have the home-court advantage and are looking like the more dominant side. Is the third time the charm? If there was ever a time to topple our generation’s greatest basketball talent LeBron James, it is now.
Cleveland have been lucky to have James play all 82 games this year (first time in his 15-year career) and lead the league in minutes per game at the same time. That is a lot of mileage on his seemingly invincible legs, and despite his regular season heroics and MVP caliber numbers, he was only able to drag his squad into the fourth seed in the East, his lowest seeding since 2006. In the first round of the playoffs, James averaged just over 34 points per game while the next leading scorer was Kevin Love at 11.4 points per game. There were 57 players between the top scorer of the playoffs (James) and Cleveland’s next leading scorer, Kevin Love. That paints a picture for what has been going on in the capital of Ohio for the year. Dysfunctionality at its finest and the biggest name in basketball at the helm trying to hold it together and doing a damn good job of it where many others would crumble under the pressure.
The Raptors on the other hand, finished the season with a franchise record 59 wins, one of the leagues stingiest defences and the best “bench mob” in the association. If there was ever a time to beat LeBron, it is now. Players are likely to ask for more money in the off-season approaching, and IF LeBron decides to stay in Cleveland expect major changes to personnel as they have been playing their worst basketball since the king’s return. We are not likely to be this good, and they are not going to be this bad. If there was ever a chance to finally overcome our rivals, make a statement to the league and gain some well-deserved respect it is now or never. Tip off is scheduled for 8 PM EST. Go big or go home.