CANTON,Ohio- The Toronto Raptors played exactly how I expected them to play Saturday night an route to a 99-84 beat down of Cleveland. And yes, it was a beat down despite Cleveland trying to hang in there even up to the beginning of the Fourth quarter.
The Raptors just outplayed the Cavaliers in every phase of the game. But I’ve always said that games 3 and 5 are the turning point games in every best of 7 series. I would have been shocked if the Cavs won game three.
I said the series would go to 6 games with Cleveland winning the series once Toronto defeated Miami and I’m sticking to that prediction.
In game three the Cavaliers did not come out and match the intensity level of Toronto. What didn’t help was the fact that both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love had terrible shooting night’s. That’s something that will have to change if Cleveland does want to get past Toronto and reach the NBA finals.
Give the Raptor’s defense credit for keeping the Cavs under the 100 point mark but Cleveland was missing a lot of shots they’ve been hitting throughout the postseason so far to. You can say the same thing for Toronto in regards to their shooting performance in games 1 and 2.
I definitely think Toronto takes game 4 but it will be closer. So the series, in my mind, is tied going back to Cleveland and the Cavaliers rattle off 2 straight and head to the NBA finals.
I understand that every team has a down night offensively but Cleveland has to put forth a much better effort in every facet of the game. They were slow on their rotations defensively and what bothered me a lot on the offensive side of the ball was the constant settling of jump shots. Cleveland must get back to attacking the rim like they were doing in games 1 and 2.
It’s pretty obvious that the Raptors get frustrated easily when allowing easy drives and finishes to the rim. Once a team becomes frustrated on the defensive end that begins to effect their play on the offensive side of the ball.
You seen Lowry go “Decompress” already and DeRozan not hitting a shot after 2 quarters of Cleveland constantly getting to the rim so the Cavs need to get back to that. Heck, even if your not making the shots and not getting any calls keep at it.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis