Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Raptors 93, Cavaliers 128; Cavaliers win series 4-0

Toronto 93 Final
Box Score
128 Cleveland

O. Anunoby20 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -23 +/-

LeBron got whatever he wanted through his playmaking and drives to the cup, but what else did you realistically expect in a closeout game at Quicken Loans Arena? Anunoby has a very bright future, especially on the defensive end, but even he can’t contain a once-in-a-generation talent like James.

He’s going to be a future all-star, mark my words.

C. Miles23 MIN, 13 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 5-10 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -15 +/-

Was in the starting five to try and match the Cavs small-ball starting lineup. Two early fouls forced him out of the game less than halfway through the first. When on the floor, he attacked the paint when pushed away from the 3-point line with mixed success. His shot from beyond the arc was out of sync.

S. Ibaka18 MIN, 12 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-8 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -12 +/-

Looked to score early on in each half and influenced Cleveland into tough shots on a few occasions. Even with those positives, Ibaka’s inability to hit a jump shot once again plagued his team. Ibaka never delivered the type of two-way play the Raptors expected from him this postseason. The last two years of his contract aren’t pretty.

K. Lowry30 MIN, 5 PTS, 4 REB, 10 AST, 0 STL, 2-7 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -23 +/-

Made a concerted effort to get others involved as evident from his assist totals. He could have done a far better job of picking his spots to try and score; would have liked to see a more aggressive Lowry in an elimination game.

D. DeRozan33 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-12 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -29 +/-

Far more aggressive than he was in Game 3 from the opening tip, although it didn’t have much an impact on the game’s outcome. Was sent to the showers early after being assessed a flagrant-2 late in the third quarter.

P. Siakam27 MIN, 9 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

As usual, had one of the hardest working motors on the floor. Not much else to say about Siakam, who only took one shot all game. LeBron embarrassed Pascal with one of his patented spin moves through the lane. I guess there’s that…he’s one of the many young Raps with a bright future.

F. VanVleet21 MIN, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -14 +/-

Helped bring the Raptors within reach during the second quarter. Worked the two-man game with Valanciunas nicely and connected on a transition 3-ball that shrunk Cleveland’s lead to two points. Love how well Fred plays within the offence and never tries to force anything. FVV figures to slot in as the team’s sixth man once again next season, if his services are retained, that is.

D. Wright18 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

Had a very short leash tonight. Unfortunately for the Raps, Wright was a disappearing act for most of the East semis. All but four of his minutes tonight were in garbage time.

J. Valanciunas16 MIN, 18 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-14 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-6 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

Coming off the bench for the first time this postseason really lit a fire under Valanciunas. The Lithuanian attacked every minute he was on the floor, which put much-needed pressure on Cleveland’s interior defenders, especially Tristan Thompson. Helped trigger a mini 8-0 run early in the second quarter that gave the Raptors a 38-36 lead with 8 minutes remaining the half. He also chipped in with some swats in the losing cause.

J. Poeltl12 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -7 +/-

Had a nice swat from behind in garbage time. Didn’t play much.

N. Powell12 MIN, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

Featured exclusively in the ‘garbage time special’ lineup.

L. Nogueira2 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

Failed to convert on a lob inside, which ended up being the only scoring chance Bebe would get. Committed a careless turnover at the end of the first half that led to J.R. Smith’s third trey. Looked lost on offence during the one or two possessions he participated in.

Dwane Casey

Electing to bring Valanciunas off the bench worked out initially, as the big man led Toronto in first-half scoring with 10 points. Unfortunately, Valanciunas’ replacement in the starting five, C.J. Miles, was overmatched defensively and his poor showing essentially canceled out JV’s offensive output. The Raptors failed to come out with intensity in Games 2, 3, and 4, which ultimately falls on Casey’s shoulders. A coach needs to be an effective motivator, and Casey was not one this series.

Things We Saw

  1. Another playoff sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers could trigger Casey getting axed. As has become NBA tradition, a team that falls short of its expectations typicall needs a scapegoat (in this case, Casey) to bear the brunt of the blame. Regardless of his future with the team, Coach Casey will always be remembered fondly by Raptors fans.
  2. Aside from the all-too-familiar playoff exit, it was a tremendous season for the Raptors. Is it just me, or did the Raps getting swept make their elimination much easier to process?
  3. When teams led by LeBron James struggle during the regular season, it should no longer be blown out of proportion. Time and time again, LeBron makes us all look foolish come postseason time when he and his team bring its play to another level. It’s become an annual Cavs tradition.
  4. Make it 10 straight playoff losses to the Cavaliers. The Raptors’ kryptonite looms large.
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