Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers – Game 5 at 01:35
If someone had said one of the Conference Finals will be at 2-2 and one will be at 3-1, I am convinced most would have thought the latter was the Eastern Conference Finals. After two blow outs to open the series, the Cleveland Cavaliers were expected to roll through the Toronto Raptors but the latter are a gritty squad and have not read the script.
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Not reading the script meant Toronto won both of their home games to get back to 2-2 in this series as Game 5 heads back to Cleveland.
I don’t think anyone will doubt that the Raptors are much more comfortable on their home court and the key for Toronto is getting both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to take their game onto the road. Doing that will give Toronto a much better chance of earning an upset on the road and especially making it a lot more competitive than the last two games in Cleveland have been.
In fact the last three games Toronto have played in the Quicken Loans Arena have seen them lose by at least nineteen points each time. However they should have been given a shot in the arm with the way the Raptors have played in the last couple of games in beating Cleveland at home.
On the other hand, Cleveland may feel they have missed some open shots in the last couple of games and they were close to getting back and beating Toronto in Game 4. I don’t think the Cavaliers will feel they need a big adjustment, but they will be hoping Kevin Love can rediscover his shot which has been missing in the last couple of games. Getting more out of Love to go with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving should be enough for Cleveland to avoid the upset.
In saying that, I do think Toronto can make this a more competitive game than the first two in Cleveland. They are getting a healthy dose of points in Game 5 and I am looking for them to try and use the momentum behind them to keep this one competitive. The Raptors will need Cleveland to at least help out by missing some of the same looks they have been missing in Games 3 and 4, but getting double digits worth of points in a tense contest like this one might be too many for Cleveland to cover.
Handicap Betting Pick: Toronto Raptors + 10.5 Points at 1.95 with Eastbridge
Prices correct at time of writing.