The Cavaliers have lost three straight after a brief respite that came with a two-game winning streak. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, though. They square off with the Raptors on the second half of a back-to-back after a road shellacking in Boston.
Who? Toronto Raptors (19-4) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-17)
When? 8:00 PM EST
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: Raptors HQ
Cavs injuries: Kevin Love (Foot - Out), George Hill (Shoulder - Questionable), Sam Dekker (Ankle - Out), J.R. Smith (Not With Team), David Nwaba (Knee - Out)
Raptors injuries: Norman Powell (Shoulder - Out)
The Cavaliers early-season struggles were more damaging than they seemed, and they seemed pretty damaging. The team was getting wrecked by the dregs of the league, and now that they’re in the actually difficult portion of their schedule, wins seem nearly impossible. Even fully healthy and maximized, they’d probably lose this game to Toronto. In their current form? It’s actually pretty impossible.
Keys to the game
- George Hill back? Hill was listed as questionable after he’s missed 11 games with a shoulder sprain. The team could really use Hill’s steadying presence on both ends of the floor, and more importantly, they need to showcase Hill to contenders looking for an additional role player prior to the deadline.
The Raptors are good at everything. This isn’t really a key to the game, it’s just a note. This team is well-balanced, can score in the paint and from three, and have stars that can hit from midrange when plays break down. They’re deep, switchy and have rim protection. This is the team Toronto’s been waiting for, and should expect to make the Finals this year. Also, Danny Green will be blowing up two-on-ones in transition until he’s 70 years old.
Another lesson for Sexton. Kyle Lowry torched Cavs guards to the tune of 10-12 shooting from the field in the opening game of the season. The day after Kyrie Irving earned bucket after bucket, Lowry will look to do the same.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Yet again, this could get ugly. The Cavaliers fall in this one, 127-108.