Here are five things to watch for in Game 2 of this week’s Cleveland Cavaliers/Toronto Raptors series.
1. J.R. Smith’s thumb
He says it’s fine. Fine. We’ll still feel better when we see that it’s fine.
2. Cavs bench
The Cleveland reserves scored only 22 points in Game 1. They did not need anymore out of those guys and it was a night where the starters just dominated. Look for the bench-bunch to contribute more in Game 2.
3. Raptors’ pace
Toronto wants to move faster with the ball.
At practice on Tuesday, Kyle Lowry said: “When they score you can’t put your head down, you’ve got to get the ball out. You’ve got to run down the floor and not look to get a play call. The play call is secondary.”
Dwane Casey took it a step further, saying: “Not to say defense isn’t important, it is, but we can’t get caught up in, ‘We’ve got to stop them.'”
Toronto wants to get more scoring opportunities for these two, and they’d also like fewer turnovers. They combined for seven of the 12 Raptor turnovers. It is not likely they’ll do that again.
5. The Diff
Can the Raptors actually stay with the Cavaliers in a playoff game in Cleveland? In four playoff home games against Toronto, the Cavs have won by an average of 24.8 points. There were times they made it close in Game 1, but not when it mattered.
Toronto has never shown they can actually be in a game in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter in these playoff series.
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