The first sip
The Cleveland Cavaliers play two of their most important games of the season as they head north of the boarder to take on the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night and then come home to face the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
As of Tuesday evening, the Cavs are a game up on the Raptors for the 6th spot while holding the tiebreaker and are three games up on the Brooklyn Nets. They are also just a game and a half back of the Bulls for 5th. How the Cavs handle these two games will go a long in determining whether the Cavs can avoid the play-in.
Projections aren’t perfect, but FiveThirtyEight’s Elo model have the Cavs with an 87% chance of making the playoffs. Basketball-reference’s model has the Cavs with a 95.6% chance of making the playoffs and a 78.8% chance of avoiding the play-in. The Ringer projects the Cavs as finishing with 46 wins and having a 95% chance at the playoffs and a 69% chance of avoiding the play-in.
Ultimately these projections don’t really mean anything, but they do illustrate how the Cavs are still very much in control of their own destiny. We’ll see if the Cavs can handle business on the court the next two games.