Cavs Continue a Perfect Postseason, But Terry Pluto Says Toronto Won't Go Away Easily

May 18, 2016

The Cavs remained undefeated in the playoffs on Tuesday, with a dominating 115-84 win over the Toronto Raptors in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Our commentator Terry Pluto  had predicted the Cavs-Raptors series will go six games. Now, he's not so sure.

LeBron James hardly missed and scored 24 points in three quarters and Kyrie Irving scored 27. Cleveland is the first team to start the playoffs with nine straight wins since San Antonio reeled off 10 in a row in 2012.

"It sure looks like Tyron Lue sure knows how to keep these guys sharp between games because in the past I have seen Cavs teams with more than a week of rest face a team that's coming off a seven-game series and get beat.

"I still think Toronto will win a game because it's so hard to sweep."

Toronto can still put up a fight
Pluto says regardless of what happens in the first couple of games of the series, Toronto is much better than the two teams the Cavs faced in the first two rounds. And he says Toronto won two, seven-game series to get to the conference finals. They haven't been past the first round of the playoffs since 2001. 

"They've had very good regular-season teams the last number of  years but trouble in the postseason. Sometimes what you need to do is simply get past that first round," Pluto says.

Toronto also has two very good players in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who Pluto says are better anybody on the Pistons -- whom the Cavs beat in the first round -- or the Atlanta Hawks in the second round.

A solid supporting cast
Pluto says LeBron James paired with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love is the key to the team winning a title. "You may not get past that elite team with LeBron and four average guys."

Pluto has been impressed by Irving's performance.

"I had big fears the way he would play defense on Lowry. He got in front of him and held him to eight points. Lowry was 4-of-14. And the previous two games when Lowry played against Irving, he totaled 66 points in the regular season when they met."

Irving also leads the team in scoring in the postseason.

And Pluto says in Tuesday night's game, the bench came through, including Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova. Richard Jefferson led the team in rebounding. 

Best ever?
Pluto says he recently talked to former Cavs coach Mike Brown, who coached James from 2005 to 2010.

"He said he believes this is the best talent LeBron's had [with] him, including Miami. So, going into this whole championship run I know LeBron, especially in the first two rounds, has been relieved to have those guys. What he's been watching is, how will they react when the lose a game or two?