Ok, ok, I didn’t see this one coming. Shoutout to the Toronto Raptors. They have finally shown up & are showing that the Cleveland Cavs won’t be able to just completely walk all over them in their way to the NBA Finals. The Raptors make the series 2-1 in favor of Cleveland with a 99-84 win.
Kyle Lowry, the man who needed to decompress during the butt kicking in game 2, came out & had 17 points while his running partner DeMar Derozan had 32 points & 5 rebounds. However, the main star of the game was center Bismack Biyombo, who absolutely dominated on the boards with 26 rebounds, a Toronto Raptors franchise record, to go along with 4 blocks.
The Raptors did win the game, however, the Cavs tried to go back to the theory that worked in the series against the Atlanta Hawks where they were going to shoot three-point shots all night & that did absolutely nothing for them – in fact, shooting so much actually put the team in bigger holes & allowed the Raptors to run the floor & keep Cleveland completely off-balance on defense. The Cavs played on defense as if they were on skates for most of the night because of the constant movement. Toronto played Cleveland’s game from games 1 & 2 with getting to the basket again & again and getting easy baskets.
Toronto did the one thing they hadn’t done throughout the first two games of the series – they got physical with Cleveland & flat out showed more effort, especially in doing all of the dirty work. Toronto also got Kyrie Irving banged up a bit. If you are a Cleveland fan, that is the absolute last thing you want to hear as Irving has an extensive injury history & was injured in his knee during last year’s NBA Finals, a big reason why many NBA fans, including us, believe that Cleveland lost the series. Fortunately, as we write this blog piece, we have learned that Irving just had the wind knocked out of him so he should be just fine going forward in the series.
Game 4 is going to be a big momentum game. If the Raptors win game 4 in Toronto & guarantee at least a game 6, whether Cleveland wins the series or not, they will be a bit tired and winded going into the NBA Finals. Both Oklahoma City & Golden State can both run up & down the court like no other teams in the NBA and either team will take advantage of Cleveland’s older players having to try & keep up for a long series.
We are not going to say that the Raptors are ready to make this series 2-2, however, should they do so, this series is completely different & the Cavs and LeBron James will have a ton to worry about going forward. In order for the Cavs to bounce back in game 4, Kyrie & Kevin Love are going to have to step up. Irving was 3-19 shooting & Kevin Love was 1-9 and didn’t play the fourth quarter.
Sounds like LeBron is going to be in someone’s head on Sunday. Might be time to decompress.