Cavaliers at Raptors Preview

Cavaliers (38-24) @ Raptors (38-22)

After finally snapping their two game losing streak with a win against the Celtics Tuesday night, Cleveland is entering an important two game stretch against the top two teams in the Eastern Conference this week. The first stop for the Cavaliers is up north to face off against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. Coming into the fourth game of this season series, the Cavaliers look to finish 3-1 against Toronto this year. Toronto has been struggling as of late, going 5-5 in their last 10, giving the Wine and Gold a mental advantage in the final matchup this season, as they are 7-3 in their last 10.

In the first game between the two, Raptors reserve Louis Williams took control and scored a career high 36 points, leading to a 110-93 Cavaliers defeat. The second game of the season was much different. Cleveland, led by Tristan Thompson’s 21 points and 14 rebounds, was able to win 105-91. The third game between Toronto and Cleveland was one for the ages, the Wine and Gold faithful were lifted over the Raptors by a late 3 pointer from King James to win 105-101. Already 2-1 against the Raptors, winning the last two meetings, Cleveland looks to chew up the lead that Toronto has at the top of the East. The Raptors will more than likely be without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who is out due to a personal and physical problems.

Here are some things you need to know before watching:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors – Air Canada Centre

Game start: 7:30 P.M. EST Cavs TV- FSO. Raptors TV- TSN2,4

Projected Starting Lineups

Cavaliers:

PG: Kyrie Irving: 21.7 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.3 RPG, 46.4 % FG

SG: J.R. Smith: 11.7 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.9 RPG, 40.6 % FG

SF: LeBron James: 26.2 PPG, 7.2 APG, 5.8 RPG, 48.9 % FG

PF: Kevin Love: 17.0 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.2 RPG, 42.9 % FG

C: Timofey Mozgov: 9.3 PPG, 0.6 APG, 7.9 RPG, 54.1 % FG

Raptors:

PG: Greivis Vasquez: 9.5 PPG, 3.6 APG, 2.6 RPG, 40.9 % FG

SG: DeMar DeRozan: 18.3 PPG, 3.1 APG, 4.4 RPG, 39.0 % FG

SF: James Johnson: 8.4 PPG, 1.4 APG, 4.0 RPG, 61.6 % FG

PF: Amir Johnson: 9.5 PPG, 1.4 APG, 5.8 RPG, 58.7 % FG

C: Jonas Valanciunas: 11.9 PPG, 0.4 APG, 8.7 RPG, 55.9 % FG

Matchup to watch for:

Two of the roughest centers in the league, Mozgov and Valanciunas look to square off in Toronto Wednesday night. Before the Cavaliers acquired Mozgov, the Wine and Gold were in dire need of a rim protector. Even in the last game against Cleveland, in which Toronto lost, Valanciunas grabbed 15 rebounds and scored 18 points. Although this game was before Varejao went down with his achilles tear, this was in the early part of the season, giving a sign that Cleveland needed depth at the center position. Since the Cavaliers traded for Mozgov, Smith, and Shumpert the Cavaliers and Raptors have yet to face off. Mozgov has shown so far this season that he is able to slow down star big men from other teams. Mozgov has slowed down rising star center Andre Drummond from Detroit, and looks to slow down center Jonas Valanciunas when they go toe to toe Wednesday night. This matchup should be an old fashioned grind it out session for 48 minutes between the two.

Injury Report

Cavaliers:

  • Anderson Varajao: Season
  • Brendan Haywood: Day to Day
  • Shawn Marion: Out Two Weeks (minimum)

Raptors:

  • Kyle Lowry: Day to Day

Game Notes:

  • Raptors 5-5 in last 10.
  • Cavaliers 7-3 in last 10.
  • Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is out for 3rd straight game.
  • First meeting this season with Raptors without Anderson Varejao.
  • LeBron James late game three propels Cavaliers to win in last meeting.
  • Raptors were without starting SG DeMar DeRozan in last meeting with Cavaliers.
  • This will be the Cavaliers’ 3rd game in five days.

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