Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (10-22) at Toronto Raptors (22-11)
When? 7:00 PM EST
Where? Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Where can I watch? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass, TSN4
Last time these teams faced each other the Cavs were able to hang around before Toronto closed strong and came away with a 133-113 victory. This time around they will be without three starters from that matchup, as Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Norman Powell are all sidelined.
While Toronto is depleted, they still have more than enough talent to be a formidable foe for the Cavaliers. Post Kawhi Leonard, this team has gone back to their try-hard roots and refuse to roll over in any matchup.
Toronto averages a league-best 18.8 fastbreak points per game, an area where they decimated Cleveland in their first meeting. The Cavs will need to be dramatically better when it comes to taking care of the basketball than they were on Saturday night. As Toronto will likely make the most of all live-ball turnovers the Cavs give them.
Limiting the guard duo for Toronto will be the key to the game for Cleveland. Both Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Vleet have been exceptional this season. The problem is that you cannot provide too much help defense on either of them, cause they will almost always make the right play and find the open man.
Toronto’s ball movement and understanding of where to be offensively has helped them overcome their injuries so far this season. They are a deep team that is exceptionally well coached, which is the type of team that has given the inexperienced Cavaliers the most trouble this season.
While a win is possible, it’ll take a very sharp performance, execution, and probably a little luck.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
2019 ends on a consistent note for the Cleveland Cavaliers: losing to a good team. Toronto wins 107-99.