After a game one that saw Cleveland dominate at home the Raptors have some major adjustments to make while the Cavaliers look like the best team in the league. Toronto lost game one of both of their previous series that they eventually won in 7 games so they do have experience in rebounding from bad starts. The Cavaliers look like a team that is playing at its peak offensively and a team determined to get this series over with fast. They also looked like the more rested team as they showed fresh legs and zero rust.
For Toronto only 3 players scored in double figures. Demar Derozan had 18 points and 5 assists and played well overall on offense. Starting Center Bismark Biyombo had 12 points filling in for injured starter Jonas Valinciunas who is expected to be out until at least game 3 at the earliest. James Johnson, who has barely played in this postseason but received more playing time in part for his ability to match up with Lebron James defensively, had 10 points off the bench including 2-2 from the three point line. Expect to see more of him in the series. All Star Kyle Lowry had a disappointing game with only 8 points on 4-14 shooting and the same amount of rebounds (4) as turnovers. The Raptors looked even worse on the defensive end as they clearly had a game plan to take away the three-point line. They did a good job denying the Cavaliers by forcing them to shoot open outside shots but the only problem was they sacrificed help defenders to do so leaving the lane wide open for numerous Cleveland dunks and layups.
For Cleveland it was clear from the beginning that Kyrie Irving came to play and his teammates made sure he got the ball as often as possible. He finished with 27 points on 11-17 from the floor and also had 5 assists. James started the game 707 from the floor without taking a shot from outside the paint. He ended with 24 points on 11-13 from the field, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in only 28 minutes. Irving played a team high 30 minutes as the starters rested the entire 4th quarter. Kevin Love had a quiet 14 points as he facilitated with ease often throwing the pass that lead to an assist. Richard Jefferson came off the bench for 9 points and 11 rebounds. Overall it was a dominant performance.
Game 2 can go one of two ways. Either Cleveland gets off to a fast start and blows the game open early, which is probably the most likely scenario. The other scenario is the Raptors make the right adjustments defensively and it allows them to stay in the game throughout. The Raptors will need a lot more out of Lowry and the team as a whole will have to defend much better to keep the game close. If they can keep it close their 2 previous game 7 wins prove that they can rise to the challenge.
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