Raptors Weren't Happy with Lowry Attending NCAA Final

08 April, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Joel Embiid

Momentum starts in the regular season and carries over to the postseason. It did not get us ready for the playoffs. The Celtics trimmed three games off their deficit during a six-game winning streak that was snapped Tuesday, and would clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win Wednesday.

The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors meet Wednesday in National Basketball Association action at the Air Canada Centre. Win and they could still have a reasonable shot at overtaking the Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Having Game 1 on the road for the Cavs would allow them to set the tone, take Game 1, and put the higher seeded Celtics or Toronto Raptors in a almost must-win scenario come Game 2. The last time these teams met, March 21st 2018, Cleveland Cavaliers beat 132-129 (James: 35 points, 17 assists, 0 turnovers).

The Celtics are red-hot. At 55-21 they own the best record in the East standings, but the Boston Celtics (53-23) are just two games behind them.

Toronto ranks second in three pointers allowed per game (24.9) while Cleveland ranks 29th (31.8). That's not an indictment of Irving as much as it's a credit to Boston's depth, young players, coaching, and most of all, its league-best defence.

"Toronto's been scoring at a high clip all season", LeBron James said after the game.

Kevin Love (Day To Day - Illness): Love is listed as questionable for Tuesday's (Apr. 3) game against the Toronto Raptors. Toronto led by double digits the rest of the way. Point guard Kyle Lowry, a 16.5-point scorer who attended alma mater Villanova's win over MI in the NCAA championship game Monday, had five points on 2-for-11 shooting while being defended primarily by Calderon. Brad Stevens deployed it in the fourth and Casey didn't have an answer, not for a lack of effort in searching for one. Yet, it still is just one game in a series Toronto still outscored Cleveland by 25 on the year. Boston would love to compete the sweep of the week, so they are not going to back down. The Cavaliers had led by 12 at 108-96 with less than a minute to go before three turnovers led to eight quick points by the Raptors. "It was a team effort; those guys came in and changed things but everybody had their contributions tonight at one point".

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Celtics turnovers: Boston's sloppy ball-handling at times would prove to be one of the issues that they simply struggled with rectifying on Wednesday.

Tuesday's grudge match with Cleveland should be just as interesting. The over/under betting line for total number of points scored is 223.5, 83% have picked the over.

The Cavs have won eight of their past nine games as they round into playoff form.

The Cavaliers still aren't at full strength. The Spurs and Thunder both have three games remaining. Meanwhile, the Cavs are 8-2 over their last 10 games. "They did take over the game that quarter and it seemed like they were so physical the refs gave them the benefit of the doubt with the whistle which is expected but they played well". He remains a problem. Rookie OG Anunoby has tried to guard James with minimal success. "It might have looked like it bothered me but it didn't bother me". Still, it's clear Casey and company will also have to make some adjustments in terms of their approach to defending James. Possibly a must-win for the ninth-place Nuggets, who are a game back of No. 7 Minnesota.

With the intensity level increasing every game, it's hard to do that in the playoffs. Being at home and with less cushion, I'm taking Cleveland here.

South Bay has scored 125 and 126 in its playoff games. With a victory there, the 76ers would have a shot at third place with a victory over James and the Cavaliers, who are a half-game ahead of them.

Philadelphia wants to open the playoffs at home. While that wasn't good, they played even worse in the second and third quarters. The illusion of momentum may be more important than momentum itself. We get Blake, we became a totally different team.

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