NBA Playoffs Predictions: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors Eastern Semifinals Game 4
Cavaliers at Raptors NBA Playoffs Odds
- Game 1, May 1: TOR 105 at CLE 116
- Game 2, May 3: TOR 103 at CLE 125
- Game 3, May 5: CLE 115 at TOR 94
- Game 4, May 7: CLE at TOR
- Game 5*, May 9: TOR at CLE
- Game 6*, May 11: CLE at TOR
- Game 7*, May 14: TOR at CLE
Kyle Lowry desperately wanted to play game three in Toronto – after all, it’s the sort of high stakes match that K-Low worked for his entire career. Alas, fate had others plans, sending Norman Powell tumbling onto Kyle’s ankle. He’s all but guaranteed to miss his second straight game on Sunday afternoon, forcing coach Casey to sub Cory Joseph in as the starting point guard.
Joseph gave his all, but he simply couldn’t find his range all afternoon, shooting 2-12 during game three, including 0-4 from the three-point line. There’s no replacement for Lowry in Toronto’s lineup, which makes it nearly impossible for the Raptors offense to keep up with the lethal lineup of the Cavaliers. As a team, the Raptors shot 43.7% from the field, including 2-18 from beyond the arc. The Cavs got easy buckets, shooting 51.3% as a squad, hitting an impressive 13-23 from deep.
When Toronto hits their shots, they give their defense a chance to set up instead of having to deal with Cleveland’s lights-out transition offence. While Lowry may not be considered the greatest defender, his absence directly affects the Raptors on both ends of the floor, throwing the entire team into disarray. DeRozan and Valanciunas were the only two solid contributors: DeMar scored 37 off 12-23 shooting and a perfect 13-13 from the charity stripe; Jonas chipped in 19 points off a tidy 8-10 evening.
LeBron James continued his calm dismantling of the North with another superb performance, scoring 35 points on an efficient line of 9-16 FG, 2-4 3PT and 15-16 FT, also nabbing 8 boards and distributing 7 assists. Love and Korver enjoyed all the extra space opened up by LeBron, scoring 30 points combined, including 5-7 from the three-point arc. Expect more of the same for game four, and wager on the Cavaliers to finish the sweep by beating a spread of seven. The Cavs offense should have another great game, so betting over on a total of 213 points appears to be the right thing to do.Cleveland Cavaliers (-310) Bodog
NBA Playoff Picks Today – May 7, 2017
San Antonio Spurs over Houston Rockets (-200)
Coach Popovich showed once again why he’s the best bench boss in the NBA, bouncing back from their worst playoff loss in San Antonio Spurs history to win two straight against the Houston Rockets. During game two, Pops started Pau Gasol over David Lee, beating Houston at their own run’n’gun style.
In game three, the Spurs overcame the loss of Tony Parker through a rejuvenated LaMarcus Aldridge and a slightly slower pace. Aldridge drained 12-20 FG for 26 points, adding seven rebounds and four blocks. Kawhi Leonard stepped up as a point forward, scoring 26 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing 7 dimes.
At the same time, the Spurs did a great job of chasing the Rockets off the three-point line, limiting Houston to 12-39 shooting from deep. This ended up wasting a vintage James Harden effort – he kept Houston in the game with a 43-point night on 14-28 shooting, while the rest of the Rockets hurled bricks.
The Rockets will need to find a way to rekindle their offense, but it appears that coach Mike D’Antoni will once again fall to the genius of Gregg Popovich. Expect the Spurs to return to San Antonio with a 3-1 lead after a third straight victory over the Rockets.
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