Defied the odds by having Toronto-Cleveland coming back to Ohio all squared up at two games apiece. The Raptors reward in this? An opener that had them a +10 dog that has gotten faded to the +11 point. What are the projected improvements from Toronto that will not translate well this far from home? Join us here at HRWager for our Game Five Preview for the Eastern Conference Finals.
Defensive versatility of Bismack Biyombo has been the one revelation that Cleveland has not coped with. Normal starting center of the Raptors got hurt and this sky rocketed the playing time of Bismack. He gives the Raptors a chance in this because he makes the Cavs work for their buckets. Too many easy field goals were given up in Games One and Two. Raptors found their way at home and it was in the form of defense. Hard to believe the trip down to the States will result in the sudden loss of this hard working element.
Now we have the pleasure of handicapping not only a Game 5 but a sixth one in the series. Hard to believe the blowouts in Cleveland are a thing of the past. Adjustments have been mostly on the Raptors side. This is where the Cavs are going to miss Blatt the most. Players coaches are great for getting that effort out when you need it but the X’s and O’s of Ty Lue are not yet his strong point.
The solution was obvious. Clog the middle and make this team hit their threes. They could not in Canada. Home court will help them in this aspect. However, Biyomo with boundless defensive energy disrupts their offense. No way the blowouts return in a Game Five. Take the +11 on the Raptors and skip to the bank. Good fortune today and we will see you tomorrow here at the HRW.