The Toronto Raptors will go up against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, May 17 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Raptors have to endure two Game 7s before getting their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance. On the other hand, the Cavaliers are still undefeated in the 2016 playoffs.
Here are the important details you need to know about the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals:
Date and Time: May 17 (Tuesday), 8:30 p.m. EST
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Radio: TSN Radio 1050 Toronto,WTAM 1100
It is expected the Cavaliers are all well-rested after they steamrolled through the first two rounds unbeaten. Also, most of their players are healthy and played six fewer games than the Raptors.
The Raptors survived the first two rounds of the Eastern Conference by beating Indiana and Miami in seven games. The team's primary center Jonas Valanciunas will not appear in Game 1 after missing the final four games against Miami due to an ankle injury. Guard Kyle Lowry's has been inconsistent during the postseason, leaving many to wonder about the condition of his right elbow.
The backcourt duo of Raptors, Lowry and DeRozan, had a great performance against the Heat in Game 7. However, their overall playoffs performance has been marked by offensive struggles. Both of them are only shooting below 37% from the field in 14 games, as per reports from USA Today. Sports analysts say the Raptors need the offensive power of their two All-Stars to beat the mighty Cavaliers.
For Cavaliers, they are the postseason's best three-point shooting team. The team makes 16.8 threes per game, attempted 36.3 per game and has made 46.2% - all playoff-bests. In addition, Cleveland has a set a playoff record for most threes in a game. The team scored 25 three-points against Atlanta.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said they will focus on stopping Cleveland's outside game.
The Cavaliers have not yet played five games this postseason, so it is interesting to see how they will compete against the tough Raptors team. James carried his team from the first round of Eastern Conference up to the finals. He averages 23.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists, according to Associated Press. Compare to last year's conference, when Kevin Love suffered a shoulder injury and Kyrie Irving had a knee injury, James isn't on his own in this playoffs.
ESPN reporters have predicted the Cleveland Cavaliers will win the series in five games.