Cavaliers vs. Raptors: How Cleveland and Toronto match up in second-round playoff series
A look at how the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers match up in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
1. TORONTO (59-23): Home 34-7; road 25-16
Defeated Washington 4-2 in the first round.
4. CLEVELAND (50-32): Home 29-12; road 21-20
Defeated Indiana 4-3 in the first round.
Season series: Cavaliers 2-1.
Key stats: LeBron James’ teams have won 22 consecutive Eastern Conference playoff series. … Cleveland has won six consecutive playoff games against Toronto and 11 of the last 12 overall. … Toronto’s assist percentage went from a league-worst 47.2 last season to 59.0 this season.
Outlook: The Raptors evolved offensively and improved their bench to be better equipped for this matchup than in their last two playoff exits to the Cavaliers. Cleveland could still be in Toronto’s heads after winning the teams’ last two meetings, when James averaged 31.5 points and 11.5 assists and made 58% of his shots. Raptors rookie OG Anunoby might be the primary defender on James, who averaged 41.8 points in four first-round wins and drew 8.9 fouls a game against Indiana. Anunoby gives up bulk and could need help that would leave Kyle Korver, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith open for three-point shots. Toronto limits threes by opponents as well as any team but Cleveland’s offense just got George Hill back and figures to get better bench contributions from Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson. Toronto is more rested, has home-court advantage and just got Fred VanVleet back to help its slipping bench performance against Cleveland’s porous defense.
Coro’s prediction: Raptors in seven games.
Game 1: Tuesday at Toronto, 5 p.m. TNT
Game 2: Thursday at Toronto, 3 p.m. ESPN
Game 3: Saturday at Cleveland, 5:30 p.m. ABC
Game 4: May 7 at Cleveland, 5:30 p.m. TNT
Game 5: May 9 at Toronto, TBA
Game 6: May 11 at Cleveland, TBA
Game 7: May 13 at Toronto, TBA
Game 5-7 if necessary; times PDT
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