The Toronto Raptors have an opportunity for their first three-game win streak of the season as they travel to Ohio for an outing against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team they took three of four meetings against last season.
The Raptors are coming off of two straight wins after finally getting healthy with key pieces missing a handful of games. A close win over the Indiana Pacers and a 13-point victory against the Chicago Bulls has them sitting at .500 with an identical record to a Cleveland team that entered the season with higher expectations.
The Cavaliers have lost their last two outings, dropping games to the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. While a home game against the Raptors could be a perfect way out of the slump, the Cavaliers have had reverse splits this season, holding a 3-5 home record and a 5-3 road record.
Cleveland may also be without Darius Garland, as the All-Star suffered a neck strain against the Lakers on Saturday night, and the team may decide not to risk anything on the second night of a back-to-back. This puts the Raptors — in their best health of the season — in a good position heading in.
But even with Garland potentially out, the Raptors have their work cut out for them with the Cavaliers’ guards. Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert and Max Strus are going to step up in Garland’s absence. And the two-big system of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley is another major area of focus for Toronto.
If the Raptors can keep the guards in check while forcing Cleveland’s bigs to work for a rebounding battle, they could out-hustle their way to a victory in Ohio. Getting above .500 with a three-game win streak would be a massive confidence boost for the next stretch of the season.
Toronto Raptors (8-8) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-8)
7:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 26, 2023
Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
Projected Raptors Starting Lineup:
PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: O.G. Anunoby
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Jakob Poeltl
Key Reserves: Gary Trent Jr., Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn
Projected Cavaliers Starting Lineup:
PG: Donovan Mitchell
SG: Caris LeVert
SF: Max Strus
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen
Key Reserves: Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang, Craig Porter
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