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Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 14, 2022
6 min read

How to Watch

What: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers

Where: Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH

When: Monday, March 11th at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): SN1/E/O/W/P, Fox Sports Ohio | TSN Radio 1050 Toronto, WTAM 1100 / 100.7 WMMS / 87.7 FM (ESP)

Toronto Raptors (Away)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 48-19 | TOR}

The Toronto Raptors sit comfortably near the top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 48-19. While they are two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks, the Raptors can rest somewhat easier knowing that they are the second team this season to clinch a position in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Toronto Raptors are on an impressive run as they simultaneously look to balance their players’ minutes as well as chase the Milwaukee Bucks for first in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is 7-3 in their last ten matches and as their recent victory over the Miami Heat suggests, they don’t need all of their stars to pull off an impressive win.

The Toronto Raptors face-off against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that are a shell of their former selves. In style with the Raptors season, expect coach Nick Nurse to rest more of his players for load management, and give a chance to those with less opportunity. Chris Boucher, Jordan Loyd, and Malcolm Miller aren’t names you usually see on the team sheet, but expect them to play a role against the lowly Cavaliers.

Cleveland Cavaliers (Home)

Head Coach: Larry Drew {All-Time 159-213 | ATL, MIL, CLE}

There isn’t much to say about the Cleveland Cavaliers at this point in the season. With a record of 16-50 the Cavaliers are one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. Even worse, the Cavaliers have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Ironically, despite Cleveland’s elimination, they have performed above expectations as of late. The Cavs are 5-5 in their last ten games and took some worthwhile victories over the Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, and New York Knicks (twice).

Not only do the Cavaliers lack serious talent, but they are currently loaded with a number of injuries. Four players aren’t expected to suit up for the squad. But where there is a player out, there is opportunity. The Cavaliers need to do the little things to beat the Raptors: crash the glass, run in transition, and take care of the ball. While their talent may not match them, the Cavaliers have shown the heart to take care of big opponents.

What’s At Stake?

The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the slight edge over the Toronto Raptors in the all-time series. In 89 regular season games, the Cleveland Cavaliers lead 48-41 over the Toronto Raptors.

A win for the Toronto Raptors would keep them second in the East, just 2 games back of first place.

A win for the Cleveland Cavaliers would do nothing more than worsen their chances at the top spot in the upcoming draft.

Questions to answer

Who are the Raptors without Kawhi Leonard?

Is there a bright side for the Cavaliers?

We are going to compare the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

No Kawhi, No Worries

In the Toronto Raptors’ last game against the Miami Heat, the Canadian squad was without their talisman Kawhi Leonard. Out due to the now famous “load management,” the Toronto Raptors didn’t seem to miss a step without their key man in the lineup.

The Toronto Raptors were en fuego from the field, shooting 57% on the game and 53% from three on 21-40 shooting from beyond the arc. But it wasn’t just about the shooting, the Toronto Raptors recorded 32 assists against the Miami Heat as they tried to zone out the Raptors. Instead, it allowed Marc Gasol to dominate as a playmaker in the high-post.

Nick Nurse experimented with the lineup in an attempt to give Kawhi Leonard some rest. Expect similar shuffles to the team when the Raptors face off against the Cavaliers. Lowry has been prone to injury this late in the season and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in civilian clothes on this night.

The Cavaliers Are Enjoying Themselves

The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the basement of the Eastern Conference. While the reward for their lack of basketball skill as a team is a high lottery pick, it isn’t much for fans of the club to celebrate. Regardless of their standing though, the Cavaliers team has noted that they are enjoying their play.

Yes, Kevin Love has missed approximately 50 games this season and that is a major factor in the success of the Cavaliers. But with their lineup, with or without Love, there wasn’t much joy in their play. Cue a win over the Orlando Magic and the Cavaliers seem to have found their enthusiasm.

Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton, and Jordan Clarkson are all young pieces going forward for the Cavaliers. In an all-out team effort against the Orlando Magic, those three starred. While they might be fighting for nothing, the Cavaliers need to ensure fans that there is something for the future. A core three of Osman, Clarkson, and Sexton may not be promising on paper, but the NBA has proved time and again that the passion of a player can overcome any judgment. The Cavs’ core three has brought that passion out.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

G Fred Vanvleet – 7 Mar 2019 – Out (Left Thumb Soreness) – VanVleet is making progress and he thinks he will be able to return in the next two weeks or so, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports.

Cleveland Cavaliers Roster Notes

G Matthew Dellavedova – 8 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Concussion) – Dellavedova did not play in Friday’s (Mar 8) game against the Heat.

C John Henson – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Wrist) – Henson has had his cast removed and is beginning the rehab phase of his return from wrist ligament surgery.

F Larry Nance – 8 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Chest) – Nance left Friday’s (Mar 8) game and did not return.

C Tristan Thompson – 8 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Foot) – Thompson did not play in Friday’s (Mar 8) game against the Heat.

Head-to-Head: Pascal Siakam (TOR) vs Cedi Osman (CLE)

Two candidates for the 2019 NBA Most Improved Player award go head-to-head in what will be a nostalgic matchup between two former playoff foes. Pascal Siakam and his skill set have been a revelation and a key weapon for the Toronto Raptors. On the other side, Turkish Cedi Osman has the chance to show off his skills this year and it has been impressive.

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | 6-9, 230lb (206cm, 104kg) | New Mexico State/Cameroon | Exp. 2 Years

16.4 PPG | 2.9 APG | 7.0 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .548 FG% | .370 3P%

Pascal Siakam said that he wanted to break the stereotype of African players being athletic role players and become a star himself. He is well on his way. Once thought to be an energetic rebounding big, Pascal Siakam has become a point-forward who can take it end to end without a threat of opposing defenses. The Cavaliers have no true shot-blockers available for this match so expect Siakam to attack the basket relentlessly.

Cedi Osman

Small Forward | 6-8, 215lb (203cm, 97kg) | Turkey | Exp. 1 Years

12.8 PPG | 2.5 APG | 4.7 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .429 FG% | .347 3P%

Once an afterthought in the NBA Draft, to a dear friend of LeBron James, to a nine-point improvement on his season average in points, Cedi Osman is proving he may be a piece for the future. He is a skilled ball handler, passer, and shooter for the Cavs. Whether this year or the future though, Osman needs to find efficiency in his game. 3.9 to 12.8 points per game is wonderful growth, but taking 10.8 shots to get 12.8 points doesn’t bode well for Osman’s value as a player.

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Toronto Raptors favored over the Cleveland Cavaliers by 10.5, with an over/under of 110.

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Christian Jope

1357 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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