Hard Loss for the Raptors
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Oh boy...who would have thought that the top team in the East with a new franchise record best season would get swept in the second round of the Playoffs/? The last number one team to be swept were the Atlanta Hawks by none other than the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a huge shock for fans all over the NBA to watch the Raptors lose both games at home and go on to lose 10 straight against the almighty Cavs.
It didn't seem so bad in the first 12:00 minutes of play. The Raps went on a 7-1 run to end the 1st quarter giving the North a glimpse of hope. Later, DeRozan threw down the one handed jam cutting the lead to 4pts. Cleveland had a 10pt lead at one point in the quarter. CJ miles tied up the game at 36pts with 8:21 left to play in the 2nd after JV denied "Canada's Most Wanted", Tristian Thompson, at the other end. Raps up 2. In comes Lucas Nogoueira to take off Ibaka. It's rare to see Nogoueira on the floor this early, but it seems Coach Casey didn't want to match JV up against Kevin Love as Love is a quicker player. Lowry calls a time out hoping to stop the Cavs run, but it doesn't work as they finish the first half going on a 12-0 run. 63-47 at the half for Cleveland.
To start the 3rd quarter, the Raps only had one player in double digits (Serge Ibaka) while the Cavs only had one player NOT in double digits (George Hill with 8pts). Late in the 3rd quarter, Demar DeRozan went to block a Jordan Clarkson lay up and hit Clarkson in the head forcing him to fall to the ground. Some say it was intentional out of frustration and others say that DeRozan isn't a dirty player and was truly just going for the ball. Nonetheless, Toronto's star player received a flagrant 2 and was sent to the locker room. That's two quarters in a row he has missed including game 3 when Coach Casey sat him. Demar ended the last game of the season with 13pts, 1ast and 5reb. Raps are behind 28pts to end the 3rd quarter.
This wasn't looking good for Toronto and by the looks on their faces, they knew it. It was all Cleveland in the 4th quarter. The starters for both teams were off and they let the bench get some playing time. The Cavaliers largest lead of the game was 35pts and that's where they ended the game. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers move on to the Eastern Conference Finals vs either the Boston Celtics or the Phildelphia 76ers with Boston leading the current series 3-1. I have to give it to Levron..he has played a great series finishing tonight with 29pts, 11ast and 8reb.
It was a well fought season for Toronto with many accomplishments, but they came up short in the second round. You can bet the Toronto Raptors' front and back office will be back to work in no time! This series loss shouldn't discount the historic year they have had. Back to the drawing board for the Raps!
Cleveland 128 - 93 Toronto