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Thread: March 13 - Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default March 13 - Cleveland Cavaliers

    ESPN Preview:


    Less than a week ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers were on a six-game slide and a playoff spot seemed out of the question.

    Three impressive wins later,
    a postseason appearance hardly appears out of reach.

    The Cavaliers look to extend their run to four for the first time in two years Tuesday night when they host a Toronto Raptors team that's already beaten them twice.

    New Orleans and Washington were among the teams Cleveland (16-23) couldn't beat during a six-game skid, so stops in Denver and Oklahoma City last week only figured to make it worse.

    Surprisingly, the Cavaliers won both before returning home to rally past another Western Conference team with a winning record. After trailing Houston by as many as eight late in the third quarter Sunday, Cleveland scored 37 points in the fourth to run away with a 118-107 victory.

    "What I like most is just our ability to compete for 48 minutes, no matter what's going on in the game," said guard Kyrie Irving, who had 16 of his 21 points in the final 4:14. "They make their run, but we continue to get stops and continue to execute on the offensive end of the floor."

    The Cavaliers, who haven't won four straight since an eight-game run March 8-24, 2010, trailed New York by four games for the East's final playoff spot last week. Now the Knicks, Cleveland and Milwaukee are in a tight three-team race.

    "I sit and look at (the standing) all the time," coach Byron Scott said. "I know the teams in front of us and what they're doing, I know the team that's right behind us. So I know we have a golden opportunity."

    Irving's play late in games has been the catalyst. His 9.1 points per game in the fourth quarter since Jan. 27 are an NBA-best, and he's averaged 10.2 in the final 12 minutes of Cleveland's five games this month while shooting 75.0 percent (18 of 24).

    The frontrunner to be named the league's top rookie hasn't done much to impress against Toronto (13-28), though. Irving has averaged 9.0 points in the Cavaliers' two losses in the series, missing 20 of 25 shots from the field.

    The Raptors have had Cleveland's number since LeBron James and Chris Bosh took their talents elsewhere two summers ago. Toronto has won four of the five meetings, three by at least 15 points.

    The biggest reason for the Raptors' success was Andrea Bargnani, who averaged 22.3 points on 54.1 percent shooting in the four wins while sitting out the lone loss.

    The Cavaliers won't be happy to see Bargnani back on the court, but his return after missing 20 games with a calf injury hasn't equated to wins for the Raptors. Bargnani had eight points in a 105-86 loss at Detroit on Saturday, then scored 11 as Toronto fell 105-99 at home against Milwaukee on Sunday.

    "We know how good he is and I need him back, everybody needs him back, and when he gets back to the level that he was at we are going to be a very dangerous team," guard Jerryd Bayless said.

    Bayless scored 16 points Sunday while starting for Jose Calderon, who's day-to-day with a sprained ankle.

    Regardless of which player starts opposite Irving on Tuesday, the Cavaliers will want to pay close attention. Calderon has averaged 17.5 points and 14.0 assists in Toronto's last two visits to Cleveland, while Bayless has put up 38 points in 48 minutes in two games against the Cavs with the Raptors.

    Cleveland is sniffing the playoffs. Yet another team with high stakes on the line for this game.

    Toronto has had Cleveland's number in 2 early match ups this year. Do you think Cleveland remembers?

    Bayless vs. Irving - I hope Bayless understands there is more to winning the individual match up than getting the most shots.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Toronto VS. Cleveland III: The Tankening

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Who thought Irving would be this good? He looked great at Duke for the short stretches he was healthy but did anyone see this coming? Hopefully Toronto gets the same sort of return on its 2011 pick. We so badly need a Kyrie Irving type player.

    For me, curious to see Bargs tonight. He's had a day off after the weekend, wonder if the rust will come off tonight. He'll have some favourable matchups.

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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    Who thought Irving would be this good? He looked great at Duke for the short stretches he was healthy but did anyone see this coming? Hopefully Toronto gets the same sort of return on its 2011 pick. We so badly need a Kyrie Irving type player.

    For me, curious to see Bargs tonight. He's had a day off after the weekend, wonder if the rust will come off tonight. He'll have some favourable matchups.
    he was the consensus number 1 pick, everyone knew he had talent, and it was on clear display before his injury last year.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote akashsingh wrote: View Post
    he was the consensus number 1 pick, everyone knew he had talent, and it was on clear display before his injury last year.
    Maybe I should have said this good, this fast, and with this roster. It's a bad team, he's a young PG. It's not supposed to a recipe for success. Maybe that's why I'm so impressed/surprised.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie AngryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    Maybe I should have said this good, this fast, and with this roster. It's a bad team, he's a young PG. It's not supposed to a recipe for success. Maybe that's why I'm so impressed/surprised.
    And with one of their key pieces Varajeo out with injury.
    Don't follow me. @AngryRaptorsFan

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    I hope to see Bargnani hit 20 points tonight, and rebound the ball as well as he did against Milwaukee.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    Yeah, I can see Barg having his breakout game tonight. Perfect opportunity to do it

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Derozan starts the game with a nice shot.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Goodness gracious, Bayless is frustrating to watch.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Nice defense by Forbes. Saw that steal coming just by how active his hands were.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Love what I'm seeing from Ed tonight, too.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Ed, Amir, Gray, Forbes.. I'm loving these guys tonight.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Anyone hear that by Leo Rautins?

    When Gary Forbes came into the game, they became less predictable. That has to be, and SHOULD be a knock on Bayless' point guard abilities.

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    Has Bargs gone back to his rebounding flubbies?

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    Are any scouts looking at Barbosa tonite?

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    Nice stat from tonight: in the first half alone, every Raptor who's been on the court has recorded at least one assist.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    Love me some Bay less right now!

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    Love me some Bay less right now!
    If he continues it, it'll be good. I like Forbes when he came in though, really nice and effective running the team. Played some good team ball, but he's got some foul trouble.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Demar is playing like shit. He needs to start being more aggressive.

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