Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
I think the Miami-Toronto series was one of few that we see in the NBA where the worst team won. That series was a total sketch-fest. It was all about who showed up for Toronto. And in Game 7, their guards showed up.
This is a series though, that even if their guards show up, it won’t be pretty for them.
Kyrie Irving is an animal. Give him any opportunity and he will capitalize on it. You can’t totally trust Kyle Lowry, especially against someone as good as Irving. He will be overwhelmed.
You’d think that DeMar DeRozan would be an upgrade over J.R. Smith, though in these playoffs, thats somehow a different story. Cleveland is shooting the lights out of the East from deep. Thats a skill the Raptors have lacked lately, DeRozan especially. A big J.R. Smith game usually wins it for the Cavaliers. There’s a chance that could be every game.
The mismatches keep going for the Raptors. DeMarre Carrol on Lebron James doesn’t even need words.
Remember when the Cavs blew through the East on Lebron’s back? And still made the Finals? Yeah, this is what happens when you have a fully loaded Cavaliers team. Those mismatches are doubled when you face a team like Toronto.
Patrick Patterson on Kevin Love is interesting, though Love’s versatility will probably overcome Patterson’s defense. This is the most competitive position-on-position matchup in this series.
Jonas Valancuinas would and is going to give this series meaning. He won’t play Game 1, but should return eventually. When he does, he is a consistent offensive producer Toronto can go to, which will go miles if Toronto is going to get a game in this series.
Until then, Toronto scoring points is going to be a big problem. And who knows when “until then” is. Therefore…
Pick: Cavaliers in 4