Cavaliers Take 2-0 Lead Into Toronto


After the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers have heavily dominated the Toronto Raptors. The series is turning out as everyone thought, with the Cavaliers outplaying the Raptors. But the way that Cleveland has achieved this is what makes them that much better.

In Game 1, the Cavaliers owned all 48 minutes of the game. They did it with defense on one end and owning the paint on offense. LeBron James showed dominance, going for 24 points on 11-13 shooting. The game was close through the first quarter, until LeBron and the Cavs opened up a 22-2 run. The Raptors looked like a deer in headlights, and had no rhythm at all that night. The game resulted in a 31 point blowout by the Cavs, with the help of Kyrie Irving’s 27 points on 11-17 shooting. Kyrie Irving was crucial as he dominated the paint as well, with his relentless attack and crafty finishing. He took the ball strong to the hoop, and was rewarded with easy baskets. It’s a shame that Jonas Valanciunas is hurt, because although he would not make up for the point difference, he would be able to defend the paint better than Bismack Biyombo, who has been playing great in the postseason for a backup. Through all the bad in the game, Demar DeRozan actually had an efficient game shooting the ball. In the first half he got a ton of mid range looks, and then this changed in the second half where he scored less, and the game got much uglier.

Moving on to Game 2, things looked better for Toronto’s end, but were still not good. With how good the Cavaliers have been, the Raptors have to play an almost perfect game in order to beat them. Cleveland is THAT good. Their defense swarmed all over the Raptors in this game, making them take tough, contested shots. Toronto was able to stay in the game for most of the first half of this game, until Cleveland closed the half on a 16-2 run. The problem for the Raptors has been their inability to close out quarters. It killed their chances in this game. Once again, LeBron got anything he wanted in the paint. It literally was layup after layup for LeBron James. As well, Kyrie Irving looked just as good in this game as he did in Game 1, if not better. The Raptors stepped up defensively in the first half, up until that late run. The Raptors need to do better closing the paint if they want a chance in the series. It really looks way too easy for the Cavaliers on offense and extremely tough for the Raptors on offense. It is tough to say that these two teams are unevenly matched because the Cavaliers only finished one game ahead of the Raptors, but Cleveland has been playing their best basketball to date in the playoffs. In this game, the lead never got to 30, but the game nonetheless was another blowout win for the Cavs. Toronto needs to play an efficient 48 minutes if they want a chance to win a game, and this all starts with Kyle Lowry, who is struggling once again. He has gotten dominated by Kyrie Irving, and needs to increase his shooting percentage. Toronto cannot win a game against the Cavaliers with only one of their stars showing up, and only showing up for one half a game.

When it’s all said and done, the Cavaliers won the first two games on their home floor, which they needed to. If the Raptors can hit the reset button when they go back north of the border, they could come back with the series tied 2-2. And then from that point, they need to just win 1 game in Cleveland and take care of home court. It just seems unlikely that the Raptors get both games in Toronto due to the way that LeBron has been dominating. Demarre Carroll was supposed to be the guy that could slow down LeBron, but that has not been the case. The Raptors defense as a whole has just been awful. If Valanciunas comes back, the next few games could be closer. Regardless of what happens, Toronto should be extremely content with the way their season went, with a franchise record in 56 wins and the franchises first Eastern Conference Finals berth. The Eastern Conference Finals look to be a quick one in favor of the Cavaliers, and this will set the stage for a showdown in the NBA Finals.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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