Cavaliers-Raptors Preview Capsule

Cavaliers-Raptors Preview Capsule

Capsule for the Cleveland Cavaliers-Toronto Raptors second-round NBA playoff series that starts Tuesday:



No. 1 TORONTO RAPTORS (59-23, 4-2) vs. No. 4 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (50-32, 4-3)

Season series: Cavaliers, 2-1.

Story line: For the third straight year, Toronto and Cleveland meet in the playoffs — with the Cavaliers 2-0 so far in these matchups. If the Raptors are going to finally find a way to overcome LeBron James, they'll need to get over some serious mental hurdles. Cleveland is 11-1 in James' last 12 games against Toronto, and he's averaged 30.9 points in those contests. The Raptors, top to bottom, are the better team. But James remains the most unstoppable force in the game and is a matchup nightmare for Toronto.

How They Got Here: Toronto beat No. 8 Washington 4-2, and Cleveland beat No. 5 Indiana 4-3.

Key Matchup: Toronto's Kyle Lowry vs. Cleveland's George Hill. It would be easier to say James vs. everybody, but the point guard matchup is particularly significant in this series. Hill has been ailing with a bad back, then got put in for some of the second half of the Cavs' Game 7 win over Indiana and immediately changed the game. Lowry must win this matchup, period.

Prediction: Raptors in 7.


Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds


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Updated : 2021-04-12 12:44 GMT+08:00