LeBron James and the Cavaliers proceed their trudge again to the NBA Finals, touring to Toronto for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal collection. Meanwhile, Golden State seems to proceed its unbeaten streak at residence in these playoffs in Game 2 in opposition to the Pelicans. Follow alongside right here for the most recent evaluation and commentary from The Post’s NBA reporter Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions within the feedback part. Catch up on yesterday’s games here.
The time for excuses for the Toronto Raptors is over.
Everything is working of their favor heading into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are wholesome. They are rested. They are the highest seed within the East. They have homecourt benefit. They have applied a mode of play particularly to reach these moments, after years of failure.
And but, right here they’re, initially of a collection the place few appear to suppose the Raptors can truly pull this off. Why? Because of the presence of LeBron James and the previous of the Raptors.
This, as soon as and for all, is the possibility for this group to make the deep playoff run it has spent the previous few years dreaming of. The Cavaliers are a strolling M.A.S.H. unit, and James needed to expend the type of vitality he usually does within the NBA Finals simply to advance previous the Indiana Pacers in seven video games — a collection that ended about 50 hours in the past.
Toronto wants to come back out in Game 1 and get a victory, setting the tone for what’s to come back and never permitting doubt to set in — from the fan base to the entrance workplace to the gamers and coaches themselves — that this isn’t going to be their 12 months.
A loss tonight, with all the pieces tipping in Toronto’s favor, would solely reinforce these doubts — to not point out lose the homecourt benefit the Raptors spent six months working their tails off to get. And all the speak about how James has fully dominated this Toronto group will all come flooding again with it.
That’s what’s at stake for Toronto tonight. We’ll see if the Raptors can — lastly — totally live up to date.
The Golden State Warriors confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Stephen Curry would make his return from a sprained MCL in his left knee after greater than 5 weeks in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal collection in opposition to the New Orleans Pelicans.
But that doesn’t imply all the questions on Curry’s return have been answered.
For starters: Will Curry begin? The final time he got here again from harm through the postseason — Game three of this identical stage of the playoffs in opposition to the Portland Trail Blazers two years in the past — he got here off the bench. This time, nevertheless, it might appear doubtless that he might be within the beginning lineup.
Why? Two causes. First, Warriors Coach Steve Kerr began Nick Young on Saturday in Game 1 of this collection (a recreation Golden State gained by 21 factors with out Curry, bear in mind). It would appear unlikely the Warriors would exit of their solution to begin small in that recreation, understanding Curry was nearly sure to return in Game 2, with out planning to have him change Young tonight.
Second, Kerr stated throughout his post-practice media session Monday that Curry gained’t have any minutes restrictions when he returns. One motive to have Curry play can be to make sure he didn’t get overextended from a minutes standpoint. If that’s not a problem, then why not begin together with your finest lineup?
So anticipate Curry to play, and anticipate him to play variety of minutes. That will make an already robust activity for the Pelicans to make a collection of this much more so. Game 1 noticed Golden State lock in on Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday, shutting down each of them and leaving Anthony Davis to should attempt to outscore the Warriors by himself.
Davis is enjoying in addition to anybody within the playoffs proper now. But nobody can outscore the Warriors by themselves. It was already essential for New Orleans to get extra from Holiday and Mirotic in Game 2. Now that Curry’s again, it’s their solely probability of being aggressive.
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors, eight p.m., TNT (collection tied Zero-Zero)
- New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m., TNT (Warriors lead 1-Zero)
Hop into the feedback part under to talk with The Post’s Tim Bontemps about your whole NBA questions.