A year ago the Cleveland Cavaliers matched up with the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. It was a matchup of the previous season’s Eastern Conference Finalists. This season the Cavs will face the Toronto Raptors in the second round, in another matchup with their Eastern Conference Finals foe. The Hawks never got a game on the Cavs, but the Raptors will enter the series knowing they took two from the Cavs a year ago - and feel like they are a better team today.
I think this looks like a pretty interesting series. The Raptors have a couple guys who can create offense, and Serge Ibaka is showing a bit of the form that made him considered one of the NBA’s most valuable bigs just a few years ago. He’s protecting the rim and moving around and stretching the floor a bit. It’s a wrinkle the Raptors didn’t have a year ago.
With all this in mind, the first four games of the matchup are now set.
GAME 1: Monday, May 1st @ 7:00 PM ET (TNT)
GAME 2: Wednesday, May 3rd @ 7:00 PM ET (TNT)
GAME 3:Friday, May 5th @ 7:00 PM ET (ESPN)
GAME 4:Sunday, May 7th @ 3:30 PM ET (ABC)
Chris Manning will be on hand to cover each of the first two games. Much more coverage to come.