The Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers should have a date for second round of the NBA playoffs, but I’m not quite sure who’s going to ask who out. The Raptors, who had the Eastern Conference’s best record by four games and claimed home court advantage thought the conference finals, have struggled with the eighth seeded Washington Wizards. Then there’s the underachieving Cleveland Cavaliers who with the highest payroll in the NBA, have looked like a middle of the pack squad against their Central Division foes, the Indiana Pacers.
With both series tied 2-2, the Cavs and Raptors remain heavy favorites to move on to the second round. If you check out the NBA betting odds by CrownBet, you can still see that they both have nearly identical odds to win their respective series. By splitting the two games on the road, the Cavs and Raptors have both regained home court advantage in the series. In the NBA, the home team wins nearly 65% of the games during the playoffs. Factor in that the two teams combined for a 63-19 (.768 win percentage) home record this season, it seems as if there is a good chance for Toronto to try to exercise their LeBron James daemons.
In an interview with UPI.com, Cavaliers forward Kevin Love discussed how important having the next two of three games at home. Love could use some home cookin’. Love injured his thumb in the Cavalier’s game one loss and has been averaging a dismal 12.0 PPG on 17-47 shooting with 11 turnovers to boot.
Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri said the team will memorialize the victims of the horrific van attack at Wednesday’s Game 5 between the Raptors and Wiz. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who share the Air Canada Centre with the Raptors, hosted a playoff game just hours after the tragedy. A moment of silence was observed ahead before the performance of the Canadian national anthem, during which vocalist Martina Ortiz-Luis yielded to the crowd singing in unison. If there was ever a night for the Raptors to come out and blow the doors off of an opponent, it would be Wednesday night.