Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
After winning four of their past five games, the Toronto Raptors will be looking to stay somewhat competitive in the Eastern Conference against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Toronto is sitting at 12th in the Conference standings with a 25-35 regular season record. Cleveland is just one spot below at 13th with a 21-39 record, winning just one of their past five games.
The matchup is the third and final between the Raptors and the Cavaliers as both teams will try to break the 1-1 series tie.
They last met on April 10th when Toronto scored 47 points in the first quarter — a franchise record — and won the game 135-115.
The Raptors will have to adjust their strategy to account for Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen.
Garland is Cleveland’s second best scorer this season with 17.6 points per game. He scored 28 points in the Cavaliers’ 119-110 loss to the Washington Wizards last night. Allen leads Cleveland in rebounds with 9.9 per game.
If Toronto wants to close out their three-game series with the Cavaliers with a win, they’ll have to defend the three-point shots and get to the offensive boards.
Cleveland’s three-point accuracy drops from 40.8% in an average victory to 30.2% in an average loss — a 10.6% difference. Similarly, the Cavaliers’ defensive rebounds lowers from 36.5 per game when they win to 29.8 per game when they don’t — a difference of 6.7 defensive rebounds per game.
Paul Watson Jr., Jalen Harris and Chris Boucher will miss tonight’s game due to injuries. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Boucher could be out indefinitely with an MCL sprain he suffered during the Raptors’ 114-103 win over the Brooklyn Nets last Wednesday night.
Rodney Hood is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury and is listed as probable.
Taurean Prince and Dylan Windler are both out tonight according to Cleveland’s injury report. Collin Sexton was ruled out prior to last night’s game due to a concussion with no clear timeline for a return to the court.
The game is set to tip-off at 7:30 p.m. EST in Tampa Bay, Florida.