Preview: Toronto Raptors VS Cleveland Cavaliers – March 21st, 2021

The Toronto Raptors are closing out the weekend on the road as they are set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Raptors will be desperately looking to snap their seven-game losing streak tonight against the Cavaliers who only sit two spots below the Raps at the 13th spot in the East.  

This will be the first look at the 2021 Cleveland Cavaliers this season for the Raptors. The Cavs currently hold a 15-26 record in the league while only having an 11-12 record against Eastern conference opponents this year.

There were brief trade rumors between the Raps and Cavs that surfaced in mid-February revolving around Andre Drummond and a potential deal that would land him on Toronto. Drummond has yet to step on the court since February 14th as the Cavs have been holding him out in pursuit of a potential trade. The Cavs have been very patient with negotiations and as a result the Raptors will not see Drummond for this game as well. This season, Drummond was averaging 17.5 points per game and 13.5 rebounds per game, with a 4.0 offensive rebound per game rating.  The Raptors will need to make rebounding a priority for tonight as they are currently ranked last in the league for total rebounds, averaging only 41.0 per game.

The Raptors will focus primarily tonight on getting back into a rhythm with an almost healthy roster. With the returns of OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet back into the starting rotation, the Raptors will look to regain their spark as they transition back into their regular starting lineup again. Expect another big game for Pascal Siakam tonight as he comes off the loss to the Utah Jazz with 27 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds.  In addition to Siakam, look for Fred VanVleet to continue getting back into his rhythm finishing last game with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists.

The Raptors key matchups for tonight’s game includes newly promoted center Jarrett Allen. The Raptors will have to find a way to limit his action on both ends as he currently averages 12.9 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game and 1.7 blocks per game. Also, the Raps have to be ready for backcourt duo Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. With Sexton leading the Cavs in points (23.9) and Garland leading the Cavs in assists (5.9), the Raptors will need to prioritize the Cavs backcourt in order to prevent offensive facilitation and scoring.

Make sure to check out the game with tip-off set for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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