Sports

Toronto Raptors, Game 78 preview and listings

Toronto Raptors, Game 78 preview and listings

If the Raptors win, they will all but clinch the top seed in the East, with four games remaining.

"We don't know what we can become", James said. "We've been playing great all year".

Yet, the last two-and-a-half weeks have brought a familiar angst north of the border.

Cleveland is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over over their last five games. This season, James is hitting a respectable 37 per cent of his three-point attempts and has been effective in the mid-range as well.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside has said that he now regrets the comments he made following the team's overtime loss to the Nets over the the weekend.

This week was lined up to be especially significant. If they hadn't, their rate would be up to win games.

So far, there have been losses to the Celtics and Cavs. Defensively, the Raptors are yielding 104.5 points per game against the opposing teams.

Toronto was still within 11 in the fourth when James drove the baseline, hung in the air and spun in a reverse layup while being fouled.

The Raptors have six games left. The offense has been humming along pretty well, and for the season as a whole, it's been those offensive changes - more ball movement, less reliance on the pick-and-roll, more open looks - that have attracted the most attention nationally.

However, the Raptors have enjoyed consistent success in home dates with Boston. They have the best defensive rating in the league throughout 2017/18, allowing just 101.4 points per 100 possessions.

Calderon would get into the paint, the Raptors bigs would sink to protect the rim and Calderon would simply throw a pass back over his shoulder to the three-point line, where Kevin Love was usually waiting. Austin Rivers scored 18 points for Los Angeles, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute. Toronto is good at running shooters off the 3-point line, but lately, the defense has not been good at defending those shots when they're taken. IN ended a five-game winning streak and fell 1 1/2 games behind the 76ers for fourth in the East despite Victor Oladipo's 25 points.

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At home, Cleveland is 12-25-1 ATS with 19 unders, 18 overs and 1 push.

There's probably some fatigue and effort issues mixed in.

The Raptors average 43.7 rebounds per game, which ranks 15th in the league.

Should the Raptors meet the Cavs in the post-season, home-court advantage would be a huge asset, given their struggles at Quicken Loans Arena.

Maybe there's some solace in that - effort problems are easily fixed. As of April 3, the Cavs are the No. 3 seed, meaning they can expect to face the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs. The start of the playoffs tends to kick teams out of the late-season malaise. The last game between these teams was an eye opener for the Cavs (in a good way).

Toronto is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games against Cleveland. But skeleton crews get swept out the door in the postseason.

However, it truly is time to, as they say, get after it.

Toronto started the game again with Ibaka on Love because he's better suited to chasing Love out to the corners and Valanciunas because you can't stop everything and I'd live with Jeff Green jumpers all day because it means Love isn't taking them. "I ain't missed nothing - just missed some shots", he said.

"I don't know if we're in their heads or not", Drew said. Brown bounced back yesterday to put up 24 points against the Bucks, and will be hoping for a similar performance in this one against a player he could be facing in the Eastern Conference finals in a few weeks time.

"So I think rhythm, having a style of play, playing within your identity going into the playoffs, is very important". That's it. What I did last night was support my team, I got back here on time, I ain't miss nothing.


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