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What to watch for in Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors

The Cavs get the first crack at the post-trade Toronto Raptors.

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers kick off 2024 against the Toronto Raptors, who kicked off NBA trade season over the weekend by sending O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second round draft pick. And it seems like the Cavs will go against the debuting Barrett and Quickley tonight.

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena — Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When: 7:30 p.m. EST

TV: Bally Sports Ohio

Spread: Raptors +2.5

Cavs moneyline: +120

Expected Cavs Starting Lineup: Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Max Strus, Dean Wade, Jarrett Allen

Cavs Injury Report: Darius Garland (jaw, OUT) Evan Mobley (knee, OUT), Ricky Rubio (personal, OUT), Ty Jerome (ankle, OUT), Isaiah Mobley (G League, OUT), Emoni Bates (G League, OUT)

Expected Raptors Starting Lineup: Scottie Barnes, Dennus Schroeder, Gary Trent Jr., Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl

Raptors Injury Report: Christian Koloko (OUT - illness), Garrett Temple (QUESTIONABLE - ankle sprain)

What to Watch for: Toronto’s new additions

SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell did trade grades if you want some deeper analysis of the deal. We’ll also have something this week covering what it means for Mitchell and the Knicks now that the Knicks have made a trade.

But it seems like both Quickley and Barrett will both debut tonight.

The player to watch is Quickley. He’s been really efficient all year to the point that, if you read what Knicks fans are mad about online, it’s often that Quickley wasn’t playing enough under Tom Thibodeau. For him, whether he starts on day one or not, it’s going to be about his chemistry with Scottie Barnes and what that unlocks in the Raptors’ offense. Which hasn’t been particularly good this year.

What helps the Cavs is that they are already familiar with both Barrett and Quickley having seen the Knicks in the playoffs last year. As far as prepping last minute after a trade goes, this is one of the more manageable ones.

One Stat to Watch: Offensive rebounding

Over their last seven games, the Cavs are 5-2. In all five of their wins, they have nabbed offensive rebounds at an elite rate. In the losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland has been kept off the offensive glass.

With a bunch of injuries, it’s just harder for the Cavs to put together good offense every time down. Getting Donovan Mitchell back helps that, but it’s still harder than it would be otherwise right now. So the choice has been made to hammer the offensive glass and get second chance points as much as possible. It’s largely worked.

Toronto, for what it’s worth, is 12th in defensive rebounding rate and top-10 in offensive rebounding rate on the other end. This game could be very well decided by who wins the battle on the glass.