There aren’t a lot of basketball analysts willing to predict the Raptors can steal a game in Cleveland from a Cavaliers team that has had their number at The Q, but Basketball Insiders David Yapkowitz thinks it’s about to happen.
Going out on a limb here and saying the Raptors steal Game 2. The role players hit their shots, Lowry and DeRozan have big nights, and this series is 1-1 heading to Toronto.
Yapkowitz nails the key to victory for the Raptors on the road. While role players are expected to perform better at home and should be expected to be the difference makers back in Toronto, players like Patrick Patterson, DeMarre Carroll, Norman Powell and/or last year’s impact postseason player Jonas Valanciunas will need to be big Game Two contributors in Cleveland if the Raptors are going to even this series up at one apiece.
It’s not a crazy idea to believe the Raptors secondary scorers can have an impact. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka have attracted most of the defensive effort in the postseason, so those secondary scorers are getting a lot of open looks.
If they can start hitting those shots, the Cavs defense will start to look like it has all season – porous. If they are firing bricks, poor shooting makes suspect defense look pretty good.
As Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said recently, “We’ve got to score points. … We’ve got the players to do it, to put points on the board tit-for-tat.”
Those role players have to start scoring tit-for-tat for the Raptors to steal a game in Cleveland.