The NBA took an off-night last night as the Western Conference foes get a nice three-day hiatus all told and the Eastern Conference flip-flops on the schedule to play their Game Three first tonight. And what a difference there is between the two Game Threes. Tomorrow night’s game between the Thunder and Warriors is HUGE. The Thunder did what they needed to do; steal a win in Golden State. But the order of operation leaves tomorrow’s game a HUGE question mark. After the way the Thunder were simply blasted in Game Three, they are a three point underdog at home and feel like they aren’t really in control of the series despite the even tally and home court advantage now being theirs… but more on that game tomorrow.
Tonight’s Game Three lacks all of the intrigue of the West. Tonight’s game is more a question of “can the Raptors keep people from turning the channel.” Neither of the first two games even whiffed of competitiveness as the Cavaliers own a +50 point advantage in the series. And they’ve done it with LeBron James shooting only five times outside of the paint. The Cavaliers are scoring in balanced, efficient, and EASY fashion and Toronto has no answers.
Is tonight the night things change? After all, home court has swung many a 2-0 series from “blah” to “competitive” in NBA history…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers -5 at Toronto Raptors
Is tonight the night things finally get interesting? Short answer? No.
This series is over. The Cavaliers are WAY WAAAY better than the Raptors and the edge isn’t just physical. The mental toll on Kyle Lowry finally seems to have become too much and his poor play is finally spilling over into some odd behavior as well. Wandering to the locker room with two minutes to play in the first half, only to ‘miss’ his team get overwhelmed by a 14-2 Cavaliers run to essentially turn a competitive game into a blowout? Odd stuff man.
Cleveland is just so much better than Toronto at this point I am running out of things to write about. Regular season stats are useless. Both of these teams are completely different than their regular season sample right now. Cleveland is 10-0 in the playoffs and has found another gear of perfect basketball; they are passing, defending, sharing the ball, having fun, and brilliantly using the nice collection of talent they assembled two years ago. They are winning by raining in threes in record efficiency, they are winning without hardly attempting shots from range. They are winning with LeBron triple-doubles, they are winning in games where he only takes nine shots. To quote the great poet Charlie Sheen, they are just winning.
The Raptors are injured and their All Star backcourt has been rancid for most of the taxing 16 games they have already played in the postseason. They needed seven to beat the Pacers. They needed seven to beat the walking corpse of the Miami Heat.
I thought I’d have to lay seven or eight tonight to get a ticket on the steamrolling Cavaliers Express. Five feels cheap. I’ll take a ticket please.