2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #3
#2 Cleveland Cavaliers at #3 Toronto Raptors
Cavaliers Lead Series 2-0
Friday, May 5, 2017, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening Line: Cleveland -1 1/2
Current Line: Cleveland -4 1/2
Opening Total: 214 1/2
Current Total: 212 1/2
Opening Money Line: Cavaliers -145 / Raptors +125
Current Money Line: Cavaliers -180 / Pacers +160
The Cleveland Cavaliers have completely dominated the Toronto Raptors in the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Cavaliers took to avoid a let down as the series switches to Toronto for the next two games, starting with game three Friday night. Last year, in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers won the first two games at home, but the Raptors won both both games in Toronto. The Cavaliers would win the series in six games.
The Cavaliers and Raptors finished with identical 51-31 records in the regular season. The Cavaliers are the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by the tie breaker. Cleveland won the Central Division and Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division. Both teams were two games behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the East. Cleveland swept the Pacers and Toronto beat the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the first round.
Cleveland is coached by Tyronn Lue. The Cavaliers are 40-45-3 ATS and the total is 52-35-1 this season. Toronto is coached by Dwane Casey. Toronto is 48-41-1 ATS and the total is 48-42 this season.
The Cavaliers won game one 116-105 and game two 125-103 Wednesday night. In game two, Cleveland was a seven point favorite and the total was 214. The Cavaliers led 34-22 in the first quarter and led 62-48 at halftime. Cleveland expanded the lead to 99-73 by the end of the third and cruised to a 22 point win.
Toronto shot 42/90 from the field including 5/17 from three point range. The Raptors made 14/19 free throws. Toronto had 49 rebounds, 21 assists, 13 turnovers, 8 steals and four blocks. The Raptors had 13 fast break points and 50 points in the paint. Cleveland shot 41/75 from the field including 18/33 from 3 point range. The Cavaliers made 25/34 free throws. Cleveland had 47 rebounds, 28 assists, 16 turnovers, 9 steals and 4 blocks. The Cavaliers had 16 fast break points and 32 points in the paint.
LeBron James had 39 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Kyrie Irving had 22 points, 11 assists and 2 steals. Channing Frye had 18 points and 5 assists. Iman Shumpert had 14 points and 6 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 5 assists for the Raptors. Cory Joseph had 22 points and 6 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 5 assists. He suffered an ankle injury and is questionable for game three. Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 5 rebounds.
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Cleveland is outscoring teams 110-107 this season. Cleveland is #4 in scoring but #20 in points allowed. The Cavaliers are shooting 47% from the field including 38.4% from three point range. Cleveland is in the top five in both categories. The Cavaliers make 74.8% of their free throws and are #23 in that category. Opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.1% from three point range. Cleveland averages 43.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.2 per game. The Cavaliers average 22.7 assists, 13.7 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 4 blocks per game.
LeBron James averages 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. James is having another MVP quality season. Kyrie Irving averages 25.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Kevin Love averages 19 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He missed around 20 games with a knee injury and several games down the stretch for rest. Kyle Korver averages 10.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Channing Frye averages 9.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. J.R. Smith averages 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Richard Jefferson, Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Deron Williams, and Derrick Williams will also get minutes in the rotation. Kay Felder is out with a leg injury.
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Toronto is outscoring teams 107-103 this season. The Raptors are in the top ten in both categories this season. Toronto is shooting 46.4% from the field and 36.3% from three point range. The Raptors make 79.6% of their free throws and are #8 in that category. Opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 35.4% from three point range. The Raptors are #6 in field goal defense. Toronto averages 43.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.1 per game. The Raptors are #6 in rebounds allowed. Toronto averages 18.5 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 4.9 blocks per game.
Guard DeMar DeRozan averages 27.3 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Kyle Lowry averages 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Serge Ibaka, acquired in a midseason trade with the Orlando Magic, averages 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Center Jonas Valanciunas averages 12 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Terrance Ross averages 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. DeMarre Carroll, Luis Scola, Cory Joseph, Norman Powell, Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker and Delon Wright will also get some minutes in the rotation.
Cleveland is 4-0 ATS after allowing 100 points or more, after a straight up win, overall, against Eastern Conference teams and after scoring 100 points or more, 6-1 in conference semifinal games, 4-1 in road games, against Atlantic Division teams, and against teams with winning home records, 20-8 in Friday games, 3-8-1 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 on one day rest. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS against the Raptors and were favored in each of those contests. The road team is 5-2 ATS in this series recently. The Cavaliers are 9-4 ATS in Toronto recently.
Toronto is 5-2 ATS after a straight up loss, 15-6-1 against teams with winning road records, 2-5 after scoring 100 points or more and after allowing 100 points or more, and 1-4 at home. The over is 4-1 in this series recently, but the under is 20-6 in Toronto between the teams.
Even in front of the frenzied Toronto crowd, I don’t see the Raptors winning this game. This is especially so if Lowry can’t go. LeBron James is playing on another level right now, and I think the Cvs are on the way to a sweep.