May 18, 2016, 8:26 am
The Cavs remained unbeaten in the East playoffs in a route of the Raptors on Tuesday. Opine about the East as you will, but going undefeated in a heightened playoff atmosphere is hard to do even for the best of the best. Barring injury, the Cavs should make their second straight finals. Tuesday was special for more than just the Cavs and Raptors, as the NBA lottery had the whole league tuning in to see the draft order. Owners were holding their breath. More on that below. Let’s get to a big Tuesday in Daily Dish:
CAVS 115, RAPTORS 84
Rust is overrated. After nine days of rest, the Cavs took it to the Raptors for their most lopsided win in postseason history. Cleveland did all their damage in just three quarters and sat their studs for most of the fourth quarter. LeBron James was terrific, starting 9-for-9 from the field and setting a tone for the series as he repeatedly drove straight to the basket with ease. The King ended up playing just 28 minutes, scoring 24 points (11-for-13 FGs, 2-for-4 FTs) with six boards, four assists, two steals and one block.
“I don’t think we have complacency in our minds,” LeBron said after the game. “We have a goal, and our goal is not nine wins. I’ve won nine games before. We will face some adversity.” He is not satisfied.
Kyrie Irving was a force as well, scoring 27 points (11-for-17 FGs, 4-for-4 FTs) with five dimes, two rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one three ball in 30 minutes. The rest was a blessing for all of the Cavs. They look healthy and dangerous. Kevin Love added 14 points (4-for-8 FGs, 4-for-4 FTs) with four boards, three assists, one steal and two threes in 28 minutes. If this series continues as it did on Tuesday, the Cavs will be very fresh and healthy for the finals.
The Raptors defense was so porous that role players were only needed to give the big three a rest, and even then they watched from the bench in the fourth quarter. Tristan Thompson (six points, seven boards and one steal in 28 minutes) and J.R. Smith (five points, two boards, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes) weren’t asked to do too much. It was that kind of day in Cavsland.
As for the Raptors, bad Kyle Lowry came back from the shadows of earlier playoff rounds. Lowry scored just eight points (4-for-14 FGs, 0-for-7 3PTs) with four rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes. This is not a good look for him. Raptors fans should be worried. DeMar DeRozan wasn’t too much better, scoring 18 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field with five assists in 35 minutes. His empty stat line cost a lot of DFS owners. Proceed with caution moving forward.
You know it was a rough night for the Raptors when Bismack Biyombo was their second highest scorer. Biyombo shot 5-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for 12 points with four rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas (sprained right ankle) is considered day-to-day moving forward, but he isn’t expected to suit up for Game 2. Get Biyombo in your DFS lineups while you still can.
“I thought they were the fresher team, the quicker team,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. The Raptors are coming off two straight series which went to Game 7. They need to get their legs back for the conference finals if they want any chance to pull off an upset. Game 2 is on Thursday in Cleveland.
AROUND THE ASSOCIATION
The NBA Draft lottery took place on Tuesday evening. The Philadelphia 76ers finally got their wish by landing the first pick in the draft. They will have dibs between Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, who are projected to be the top two prizes in the 2016 NBA draft.
The Lakers scored what was probably their biggest win of the season by keeping their pick. They scored the #2 pick overall and will likely choose the leftover from Simmons and Ingram. If the Lakers landed outside of the top three picks, they would have to give up their pick to the Sixers due to negotiations in the Steve Nash trade from 2012. We can’t have the Lakers suck for too long, now could we?
The rest of the lottery played out as projected. Here are the results:
- Celtics (from Nets)
- Nuggets (from Knicks)
- Raptors (from Nuggets)
- Suns (from Wizards)
The NBA Draft is on June 23, 2016. The Sixers are on the clock.
Meanwhile, the Celtics announced that Kelly Olynyk had right shoulder surgery on Monday and has no timetable to return to basketball activities. He should be ready to go next season. Olynyk has nice upside, but it all depends on who is a part of the rotation in Boston.
Hassan Whiteside reportedly will not have surgery on his knee. Teams lining up for the big man’s services won’t have to hold their breath this offseason.
That will do it for Wednesday’s edition of Daily Dish. Follow us @HoopBallTweets for the latest news and notes on all things NBA and play in our daily contests! I’m @RiazD if you have any comments or want to talk about pretty much anything. Enjoy your hump day.