The Cavs look to end the series and advance to the finals after jumping out to a 3-2 on Wednesday night, a game where the Cavs bounced back to form, jumping out to an early lead and not letting the game get remotely competitive. With a team as streaky and scrappy as the Raptors, you don't want to give them a fighting chance.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
When: Friday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Air Canada Center, Toronto
Enemy Blog: Raptors HQ
Music: Meek Mill — "All The Way Up"
Three keys to the game
1. An obvious place to start is with containing the guards. Kyle Lowry scored 20 and 35 points respectively in Toronto’s two wins and 8, 10 and 13 points in their three losses. He shot above 50 percent from three in their two wins. His field goal percentage throughout this series reads like a roller coaster. Keeping the two guards from catching fire, especially Lowry, is imperative because once he’s having a heat-check, high-confidence game where he gets going early, the Raptors seem to feed off of his energy and look like a completely different team. I’d imagine that the Cavs will continue to put pressure on Lowry to give up the ball through blitzing and trapping, like they did in Game 5.
2. Attacking the rim, working toward easy looks and not becoming overly reliant on the three is a point of emphasis. Toronto’s worked to congest the paint and dare LeBron to take open shots from behind the arc. In the two losses the Cavs attempted 41 three pointers, where as in the three wins, they haven’t gone over 21. The Cavs are obviously capable of burying teams from long range, but too many of the threes in this series have been ill-advised and have played directly into the game plan of the Raptors. They have players capable of working off the block, numerous pick n roll duos and at least three guys who are really good at creating their own shot, which translates well to getting the looks you want early, and letting their three point game develop more naturally.
3. Finding ways to get Kevin Love involved early, in a variety of ways, ones that extend beyond stretching him out for spacing and escape-hatch jumpers, particularly on the block where he likes that turnaround, seems to be an important way to close out the series — and chase a title. We’re all well aware of his defensive struggles, and how a lack of lateral quickness and questionable awareness hurts him while defending pick n rolls, but getting him in a groove in the first quarter puts so much pressure on the other team, it’s easy to break an opponent down early.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavs clinch. Drake is eliminated from being on your television set during the 2016 NBA playoffs. Cavs 115, Toronto 90.