Recap: Raptors 126, Cavs 110 (Or, Raptor Food)

Sometimes throughout the course of a season like the Cavaliers are having this year, one can surmise fairly easily how the night is going to go without having to watch the game. It’s not that one is being overly pessimistic or has a lack of hope in their team, just that they are so overmatched that it is evident that short of a miracle, the game is going to turn into a loss.

It’s like in the movie Jurassic Park when Dr. Ian Malcolm warns the team that you can’t control nature nor can you control something powerful. And then Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, Dr. Malcolm, that pesky lawyer Gennaro, and the two children Tim and Lex pile into the Jurassic Jeeps anyways. Don’t worry, nothing bad is going to happen. Except we know that it will. And it did.

The Cavaliers unfortunately did not have enough to challenge the top of the East on this night, despite the Raptors featuring several key injuries to Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Danny Green. Despite being outmatched, the Cavs kept within striking distance for most of the game only to be overmatched in the fourth quarter and come up short. They entered the fourth frame down only six, though the finally tally ended at 126-110. In the ominous words of Samuel L. Jackson’s Arnold, “Hold onto your butts.”

The first quarter started a bit rough for Cleveland as the Raptors jumped out to a 12 point lead in the first 3:00 minutes of the game. Toronto notched three mid range shots and two three pointers that were matched by a single, solitary drive to the hoop by Cedi Osman. Combine that with a couple of turnovers, including a travel by Larry Nance Jr. and a quick first timeout by Coach Larry Drew. Nearly a minute later, Drew had to call another. Fortunately, after the second timeout, the Cavaliers were able to find the basket with a little more ease as Rodney Hood was fouled and made both of his free throws. Those were followed up by a couple of mid range twos from Collin Sexton that weren’t exactly in the flow of the offense. Then things stalled again on the offensive end as the rookie point guard struggled to finish at the rim. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much the Cleveland could do to stop the 15-point first quarter for OG Anunoby. The reserves checked in and kept things close for the remainder of the quarter and ended it down 34-28.

The second quarter was a little less one-sided as Jordan Clarkson, Matty D, and Ante Zizic started things off hot with a pair of threes and a 14-footer. The starters checked back in but had trouble keeping pace with the Raptors, as has been the case more than once this season. It seemed like Sexton had trouble every time he managed to get into the lane. Whether he was unable to finish or whether he turned the ball over, the results weren’t great. The rookie needs to work on keeping his dribble and navigating the lane if he’s going to want to be truly successful in this league. Still, there were some bright spots as Nance continues to play well, find the open space, and initiate the offense, as well as showing out a bit on the defensive end. Check out this wide open alley-oop he received courtesy of Alec Burks.

The Cavaliers were able to keep this quarter a bit closer but weren’t able to actually outscore Leonard and the rest of the Toronto Raptors. Anunoby quieted down but the rest of Toronto was able to keep Cleveland at arms length for the remainder of the quarter. Nonetheless, the Cavs continued to fight and managed to finish the first half down only seven with a score of 59-52.

The third quarter actually featured some scoring by the Cavs and started off with three pointer by David Nwaba who would eventually exit the third quarter after twisting his ankle. The Cavaliers can’t really afford any more injuries right now, especially one to Nwaba who just managed to return from his last injury, so hopefully this isn’t anything serious. Still, he managed to get another three before needing to leave. David finished the night with only 6 points and a rebound in just 14 minutes of play. Between those two threes, the Raptors showed the Cleveland just how much they are missing big men Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love in the rebounding department as Pascal Siakam proceeded to miss layup after layup only to continue to get his own rebound and eventually tip it in. Watch the unfortunate sequence below. They ended the third down 99-93 and still within striking distance of the predators from the North.

Unfortunately, the fourth quarter is when things fell off the rails a bit and the dinos finally started to escape their exhibits. Cleveland only managed to score 17 points in the final frame while the Raptors matched that with 27 of their own, including this monster jam by Anunoby.

The Cavs could just not get anything going as each possession seemed to end in a missed mid range shot or a turnover. Sexton was particularly guilty of this as he missed a bunch, was guilty of a couple of turnovers and some stupid fouls. Combine that with their continued inability to guard the perimeter in any sort of meaningful way and things got a bit ugly in the final stretch. Still, Cleveland fought the prehistoric ballers and did not give up despite being outmatched. The game ended with the final score of 127-110.

Kawhi Leonard proved to be too much for Cleveland to handle and really that is no surprise. He finished the night with a season high 37 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. He was much more like the Tyrannosaurus Rex stomping around the court doing whatever he wanted than he was one of those pesky Velociraptors. Ultimately, the Cavs just didn’t have an answer.

Some Notes:

1) Really, this one wasn’t as ugly as the Jurassic Park metaphor suggests, I just couldn’t resist. Cleveland fought and kept pace with one of the best teams in the League for most of the game. Though, let’s remember, the Raptors were without some of their key starters/rotation pieces. Still, the game didn’t end with Kawhi Leonard stomping into the visitors center and leaving the park in complete and utter disarray.

2) Larry Nance Jr. continues to be impressive as he benefits from the increased playing time in the absence of Love and Thompson. He finished the night with another double double. He had 16 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. Not a bad outing for the big man. If he keeps this up, he could be an all-star in no time. Though without LeBron in Cleveland, getting any sort of national attention on this team will be tough.

3) The Cavs are shooting trees much more consistently and it’s a big relief. They shot 37.5% on 9-24 from beyond the arc. A big chunk of that was from Jordan Clarkson who went 4-9 from deep. None of it was from Collin Sexton who still insists on dribbling inside the three point arc whenever he gets the chance. He was 0-3 from distance and struggled to find any sort of offense that wasn’t settling. Sexton finished the night with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal, which makes his game look better than it was.

We knew going in that the ominous music was playing and we were all loading into a jeep that was destined to get pushed off the edge of a cliff in the rain. Fortunately, Cleveland was able to compete enough to not end up like the cow that was dropped in the Raptor pen for a gentle feeding…

The Cavaliers next face off against the Bulls on Sunday. As always, Go Cavs!

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NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
30 days 17 hours ago

GO BROWNS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
30 days 23 hours ago

THANKS ARCH FOR INFO ON “THE MULE “——AND AGREE WITH YOU JASON—COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE CAVS SCHEDULE –THIS WILL BE THE EASIEST PART—-AGAIN GREAT RESEARCH / WORK ON THAT JASON ———–OFF ON ANOTHER SUBJECT—MORE RELATED TO EVIL’S LINE OF WORK—-SAW A GREAT MOVIE ON NETFLIX LAST NIGHT —–“BIRD BOX “/ SANDRA BULLOCK / HAD MY INTEREST THE ENTIRE MOVIE ——-JUST TO PUT A PLUG IN FOR THE “MRS NOMAD “—-SHE HAS BEEN TOLD NUMEROUS TIMES SHE IS SANDRA BULLOCK ‘S TWIN—-YES CTB BROTHERS —‘ I AM A LUCKY GUY ” !!!!!!!! : ) !!!

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 7 hours ago

Nice recap. Jmay.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
1 month 13 hours ago

THANK YOU JASON FOR ALL THE WORK YOU PUT IN—–NOT SURE IF I WOULD CALL ROAD GAMES –MEMPHIS / MIAMI / EVEN @ ATL —EASY AS IT GETS –ESPECIALLY WITH OUR ” MEDICAL REPORT “——-I TRULY BELIEVE WE ARE NOT JUDGING THIS SEASON BY THE ‘W”‘S BUT HOPEFULLY ON THE GROWTH OF YOUNG BULL / CEDI / ANTE / LNJ / MAYBE EVEN THROW IN BLOSSOMGAME …….AND ALSO WHAT KIND OF MAGIC KOLBY CAN WORK IN TRADE DEALS

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 month 10 hours ago

It is as easy at gets from here on in. 5 games in a row vs non-winning teams. Not saying it is EASY, if you get my drift.

Suns in triple OT vs the Wiz. Booker with a chance to win it with a jumper in reg & 2OT, and missed a FT with the score tied with under 10 sec left in OT.

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 month 16 hours ago

Schedule watch, I would break the remaining schedule (49 games) into 4 parts:

1. Easy as it gets: next 5 games (Chi, at Mem, at Mia, at Atl, Mia). No teams with winning records. Chicago and Atlanta. That is the good news. Bad news is we are missing TT and Love for all if it, and now Hood & Nwaba are iffy. Plus, it is week 2 of a 5 week stretch that includes a b2b + 3 in 4 each week and the Hawks game is both.

2. Nasty as it gets. 9 games. 3 homies followed by 6 roadies. The string of weeks with both a b2b & 3 in 4 continues to 5. The easiest games are NO (twice, both on a b2b), and Utah (twice). Perhaps we get TT and maybe even Love back. But I doubt Kev comes back on a sux game roadie.

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 month 16 hours ago

3. Recovery time. 22 games. Hopefully with Love & TT back. Bulls, Knicks, Wiz, & Magic twice. Plus PHX, Miami, Memphis, & Dallas. Only 6 real tough ones: Bosx2, Tor, at Phi, at Indy, Port.

4. The end. 13 games. 12 vs teams currently at or above .500. At Phoenix the only exception.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
1 month 16 hours ago

EVIL I WENT AND SAW —“THE MULE ” YESTERDAY——REALLY ENJOYED —-THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP –APPRECIATE !! : )

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
1 month 8 hours ago

If you ever want to read more on this subject, prior to that whole 2014 NY Times Article which became “Mule,” read “Dreamland,” by Sam Quiones, which mostly takes place in Ohio. And if you have any other questions let me know. I consider myself an expert with opioids, while fortunately never struggling in that space. I’ll leave it by stating I haven’t seen the film, and the problem has changed to illicit fentanyl. If you want to get Opioid Use Disorder patients better, make it easier for them to access treatment, and make it less of a burden on doctors, who are required to take an 8 hour course – just to treat OUD patients. Sorry for the rant!

EvilGenius
Admin
1 month 16 hours ago

Anytime!

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 month 16 hours ago

Tank watch, now with remaining SOS & rank.

Wins:
8: Cavs (.488, 26th), Bulls (.491, 22nd), Suns (.508, 9th), Hawks (.505, 12th),
9: NY (.519, 3rd).

EvilGenius
Admin
1 month 17 hours ago

Thanks for the fun recap JMay… I missed this one due to holiday party. Competing for three quarters before collapsing seems to be a recurring theme for this squad… but, I’m not sure that it’s tanking exactly. They just don’t have a closer anymore like other teams do. The bench is starting to become the identity of this team in similar fashion to the Herculoids era…

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
1 month 21 hours ago

MAY YOU ARE SPOT ON WITH YOUR ANALYSIS ——NO MATTER WHAT / HOW EVER CAVS PLAY —-THERE WILL BE NIGHTS –( MORE OFTEN THAN NOT )—THAT WE WILL BE OVERMATCHED —LAST NIGHT WAS ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS ——- REALIZE THERE IS A GOV’T FREEZE —NATIONAL PARKS SHUT DOWN—BUT WE CAN’T ALLOW ” SHOOTING TREES ” : )—THOUGHT I HAD TO BE SARCASTIC THERE –SORRY !!!- ( # 3 )———–ANTE SHOWING SOME PROMISE WITH BEING ALLOWED MIN’S EVERY NIGHT ……………..YES SEXTON WITH IN MY OPINION SOME “HOLLOW STATS ” BUT AT THE SAME TIME NOT GOING TO CRUCIFY HIM / JUST LEARN AND GROW WATCHING DELLY

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 month 22 hours ago

We desperately need shooting. Love will help, but check out our 3PT%s, in order by attempts:
1. Clarkson: 166, 32.5%
2. Osman: 145, 29.7%
3. Hood: 109, 36.7%
————
4. Sexton: 63, 39.7%
5. Burks: 46, 30.4%
6. Nwaba: 35, 25.7%
7. Nance: 31, 41.9%
8. Delly: 24, 50.0%
9. Love: 24, 29.2%
10. Blossomgame: 18, 38.9%
————–
11. Frye: 18, 50%
12. Jones: 7, 57.1%

We do not take a lot of bad 3s. It is just that some of our better shooters take too many long two (Hood, Sexton). Teams are gonna love letting Clarkson, Cedi, Burks, & Nwaba fire away. We need more attempts from Hood, Sexton, Nance, & Delly.

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