Cavaliers vs. Raptors: Game 1 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Instead of facing that uncertainty, the Cavs and their fans can turn their attention to the trip to the East's top seeds Toronto Raptors after edging a plucky Pacers team that outscored Cleveland by 40 points over the seven games. The tipoff time for that game will be 8PM EST/5PM PST on TNT, which is not an unusual start time.

For the third straight postseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors are meeting in the National Basketball Association playoffs. Jordan rattled off six championships with the Chicago Bulls in the '90s, while James has taken home three himself this decade - two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue used four different starting lineups against the Pacers, but the one he went to in Game 7 might stick for a while. He averaged 34.4 points, 10 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 block and 1.7 three-pointers per game on 55.3% shooting and 35.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Wizards would go into the half with a 53-50 advantage and assurance that the Raptors had never in their franchise history won a postseason away game after trailing at halftime. And James is battered after playing all 82 regular season games plus seven games in round one.

Another team that LeBron terrorized for the better part of the decade is the Indiana Pacers. Many believe if Cleveland doesn't at least make the NBA Finals that James will leave in free agency this summer for either the Houston Rockets or Los Angeles Lakers out West.

Along with their recent postseason success against the Raptors, the Cavaliers also won the 2017-18 Regular Season series 92-1) with their Eastern Conference rivals.

They'll square off in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals beginning May 1 at Air Canada Centre.

How They Got Here: Toronto beat No. 8 Washington 4-2, and Cleveland beat No. 5 IN 4-3. In last year's four-game sweep of Toronto, James faked like he was taking a swig from a courtside fan's beer.

Heading into Round 2, both the Cavaliers and Raptors witnessed a number excellent performances from each of their First Round series. Kevin Love was the Cavs' second-leading scorer at 11.4 points per game.

The weakness of the Cavaliers' supporting cast was exposed against IN, especially after Kevin Love was hampered by a left hand injury. Kyle Lowry led the way for the Raptors with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists.

They're rested. The Raptors feel they are ready. "The King" has carried an enormous load throughout the first seven games of Cleveland's playoff run, and it began to show on Sunday afternoon. The Raptors would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game, outscoring the Wizards 29-14 in the fourth quarter to close out the series.

The Cavaliers have eliminated their familiar foe from the playoffs in each of the past two season.

"We've been in situations before", James said of the Game 7 starters.

  • Stacy Allen