Revenge was what the Toronto Raptors were looking for when they played the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. Unfortunately, that was not what they were able to get. Just like in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Cavaliers defeated the Raptors, as reported by ESPN.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 29, 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers starters
There are going to be plenty of nights where Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love are all clicking. Friday night was one of those instances. The trio combined for 65 points, 24 rebounds, 15 assists, and three blocks. The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to win most of their games when their three best players are producing on that level.
Tristan Thompson quietly had a good night by scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-11 power forward also made all five of the shots that he took.
Armed with a new contract worth approximately $57 million, JR Smith knows that expectations are going to be higher. Against the Toronto Raptors, he missed five of the seven shots that he took from beyond the three-point line. Smith did chip in with three steals, however.
Cleveland Cavaliers backups
To play it safe, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue decided to rely on three veteran perimeter players off the bench. Iman Shumpert, Richard Jefferson, and Mike Dunleavy were the only ones that were called upon. In terms of points, the trio was only able to contribute 10 of them. However, Shumpert did a little damage across the board by grabbing four rebounds, two assists, and three blocks.
Cleveland Cavaliers reserves
Tyronn Lue essentially kept five of his players strapped to the bench. James Jones and Chris Anderson are veterans that know their roles, so that does not come as a surprise. However, Kay Felder and Jordan McCrae need some minutes if they are going to be developed into future rotation players. DeAndre Liggins will accept whatever playing time that the Cleveland Cavaliers give him.
Toronto Raptors starters
The stat sheets will show that Kyle Lowry managed to contribute 17 points. However, the All-Star point guard struggled with his shooting. While he had four assists, Lowry also had six turnovers. He’s going to need to play better than that if the Toronto Raptors want to get past the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.
DeMar DeRozan recently was paid big time by the Toronto Raptors, and he proved his worth against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. He produced 32 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals against their Eastern Conference rival. DeRozan will need to up big numbers if the Raptors want to get to the NBA Finals.
DeMarre Carroll and Pascal Siakam were both quiet. The former did a couple of things across the board for the Toronto Raptors, but it was not enough to turn the game around. The latter did very little to prove that he is nothing more than a nominal starter.
Jonas Valanciunas had a chance to produce dominant numbers. The Toronto Raptors starting center did his job on the boards by pulling down 17 rebounds. Unfortunately, though, poor shooting kept him to only 10 points for the game. If Valanciunas can develop some consistency, then the Raptors become that much more of a threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Toronto Raptors backups
Patrick Patterson had five points, six rebounds, three assists, and a steal off the bench for the Toronto Raptors. That would normally be impressive, but the backup forward was given 34 minutes of playing time, so more was expected of Patterson. Terrance Ross was only given 14 minutes on the court, but he did very little to convince the Raptors coaching staff to give him more playing time.
Cory Joseph and Jakob Poeltl are two players that Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey might consider giving more minutes to. Joseph played efficiently, but he needs to reduce the amount of turnovers that he generates when he is on the floor. Poeltl had seven points and seven rebounds in just 11 minutes on the floor, so it will be interesting to see what he can do with a few more minutes. It might be hard to take time away from Jonas Valanciunas, though.
Toronto Raptors reserves
Lucas Nogueira did not get on the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The official reports state that it was because of a sprained left ankle. The 7-foot center might have trouble getting into the rotation with Jakob Poeltl around.
Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Bruno Caboclo were kept on the bench by Dwane Casey, and that might be something that takes place rather often for much of the season.
[Featured Image by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]