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Schedule set for the Cavs and Raptors second round matchup

30 April 2017

The players watched the Raptors' Game 6 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at a steakhouse Thursday night - Cavs general manager David Griffin picked up the tab - while Cavs coach Tyronn Lue hosted close to 100 team employees at his house for a viewing party complete with catering and valet auto service.

There is still a lot of time remaining in the postseason, but much has already been concluded about the playoff potential of numerous competing teams.

The first round of this year's NBA Playoffs unfortunately played out as expected, albeit with a few mild twists and turns along the way.

While the defending champions wait to see who they will play in the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, Lue has invited his coaching staff and "60 or 70" members of the Cleveland organization to his suburban home Thursday night to see Toronto play Milwaukee in Game 6.

"That's impressive. Impressive. Nothing short of impressive", Irving said when told how much James had played.

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The Cavs aren't the playoff favorites.

So, here we go.

The Cavs won't open their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Toronto or Milwaukee until Monday at Quicken Loans Arena, so James, who sat out seven games to rest in the regular season and missed another due to illness, will have had plenty of time to recover prior to Game 1.

Superstar LeBron James and the Cavaliers are putting the extended break to good use, working out like beasts in the gym and having fun at the same time. "It makes more sense to close out the series and have the additional rest versus playing potentially even more minutes, potentially 96-144 more minutes". And while it was somewhat alarming to see the Bucks take Game 3 in such dominating fashion - a 104-77 blowout, even after taunting the Raptors with the Barney theme song during their pregame intros - I wasn't surprised to see Toronto adjust and quickly regain control of the series.

Coming down the stretch of the regular season, the Cavs' defensive effectiveness had been questioned. At least on paper, Toronto appears to be better and Cleveland seems to be worse. The Bucks had a LeBron Jr.in Giannis Antetokounmpo, but not much else scoring-wise without the injured Jabari Parker.

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He also was fined an undisclosed amount for throwing a fastball past Machado's head during Sunday's game. On Tuesday, Farrell said he would have played if they had a game, but woke up more sore on Wednesday.

The big question here for Toronto is what to do with guard Norman Powell. Sunday, the Cavs held a 13-point advantage with under 10 minute to play.

Rondo was injured just before Game 3, which provided an opportunity for the Celtics to take back momentum.

Ty Lue with a amusing line when asked how it's possible LeBron has won 21 straight first round games dating back 5 years: "Great coaching". That won't be good enough vs. Cleveland. The year before, he averaged 30.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists.

Cleveland went 3-1 in the regular season against Toronto, but none of those games featured Ibaka. Lowry put up 20.5 points and 6.5 assists in four. With him playing the minutes he played during [the] course of the regular season, it has helped him in the playoffs.

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by halftime and finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists.

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The Raptors are +500 to win their first conference title. Gone were the bench units from the previous season that could come in and dominate other teams' second units. That would be on the one hand the isolation ball of James and Irving, plus the post-ups of Love. "Once again, we knew that as well", Love said. Those same teams are now 48-7 in such series (a.873 winning percentage).

Schedule set for the Cavs and Raptors second round matchup