Title: THE RAPTORS GOT PUNKED BY THE CAVS IN GAME 1
Date: May 2, 2017
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: For my latest at Vice, I wrote about the Cavaliers punking the Raptors in Game 1, on the scoreboard and in the flair department.
The Cleveland Cavaliers came out swinging against the Toronto Raptors in their second-round series opener on Monday, and if that is to be taken as a sign of respect, it’s about the only one they flashed that night. The defending champions stormed out of the gate with a pair of early 10-0 runs in Game 1, quickly building a lead that would swell to as many as 25 points and appeared, for large stretches of the game, insurmountable. The 116-105 final belies the flow and feel of the evening, and while after the game Raptors head coach Dwane Casey refused to concede that the word “dominate” was appropriate here, it was.
The Raptors knew to expect an opening salvo like this. For the second series in a row, they talked up the need to come out with force and energy, meet an opponent’s intensity, and avoid being ambushed. Never mind that anticipating an ambush renders an ambush not an ambush, the Raptors don’t have the excuse of having been surprised at any of these turns. Getting behind 10-3 in a blink and 38-20 early in the second almost seems rote at this point, in this situation.
This was exactly the type of start the Raptors couldn’t let the Cavaliers have. In the days leading up to tip-off, Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue talked about a potential “adjustment period” for his team as they shook out of the doldrums of an eight-day break, figured out how a new-look Raptors defense would approach them, and slowed down to find out—and take—what that defense might give them.