It appears the Cleveland Cavaliers have responded well to some questions about their intensity levels. After dropping two straight games and being called out by LeBron James and coach David Blatt, the Cavs have won three straight games, all by double digits and all at home.
Now the Cavs take their current three-game winning streak and league-best record north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have a solid backcourt duo in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, yet after starting the season 5-0, Toronto has struggled, losing six of their last 10 games.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Air Canada
How to watch: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: Raptors HQ
Music: Drake - 6 God
Things to watch for:
- For those unaware, the Raptors are having a "Drake Night" tonight. Am I only one to see the irony in this? Not the whole "Drake Night" thing, but the fact they scheduled it against the Cavs, the team that employs LeBron James? I'm currently starting the over-under on points scored by LeBron at 40.5. It's gonna get pretty awkward when the guy the Raptors are having a night for is secretly rooting for an opposing player. And if you think I'm exaggerating, as the cool kids say these days, stay woke.
- Lowry and DeRozan are a weird backcourt. Lowry is a bulldog point guard who isn't a great scorer, but isn't great at creating for others. DeRozan is a lengthy shooting guard who is good at attacking the rim but a below-average shooter with an atrocious shot selection. They both average 20 points per game, yet neither of them shoot above 41 percent from the field. The Raptors offense will rely heavily on these two and could cause the Cavs' defense some problems if they both get hot.
- Rebounding will be interesting in this game. Both teams rank in the top-three in overall rebounding percentage (percentage of rebounds a team grabs during the game), yet both attack the glass in different ways. The Cavs have two of the best rebounders in the league in Love and Tristan Thompson, while the Raptors have six players averaging at least 4.5 rebounds per game. The winner of this game will likely be whoever is able to control the glass.
- Not Anthony Bennett, who currently has one more point (9) than he does DNP-CD's (8).
Fear the Sword's fearless prediction:
"Drake Night" could favor either team in this game, but in the end I think that factor is squashed. The Cavs simply have the better team and, despite injuries, have been playing extremely well as of late. It will be close, but the Cavs should win 104-100.