Fantasy Basketball Playoffs
The Toronto Raptors took care of the Heat yesterday’s Game 7 in dominating fashion, moving on to the NBA Eastern Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s not much of an fantasy basketball playoffs series compared to what could’ve been the Cavaliers vs the Heat story-wise, but we still end-up watching the two best teams in the East go at it. Cleveland stands as the team to beat in the East winning all 8 games they’ve played these playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday May 17, and you can enter this matchup in cross-sport contests now at FanPicks (click to join). LeBron James and co. will begin fresh off a week rest, which the Raptors have barely benefited from. It’s enough for Dwayne Casey’s squad that they have made it this far, pushing to within four victories of The Finals for the first time in franchise history. When this postseason started, Toronto had never even won a seven-game playoff series. One month later, and they have won two of them. Despite the East’s defending champions coming in as favorites, the Raptors edged them out in the regular season, winning 2-out-of-the-3 contests. Both victories came at the Air Canada Centre, and they shot 50.2 percent during the three games. Will that, along with whatever momentum gained from the Miami series, be enough to pull off the improbable and access the conference finals? Time will tell. After all, the Cavaliers are arguably their best edition ever too.
This series offers several fascinating individual confrontations, with the Kyle Lowry-Kyrie Irving clash at point guard dripping with talent and competitiveness. DeMar DeRozan will get the sort of VIP defensive attention from J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert that essentially shut down the Hawks’ Kyle Korver in the last round. Then there’s DeMarre Carroll, who as an Atlanta Hawk had to deal with LeBron James in last year’s conference finals and will have the same assignment wearing a Raptors uniform.
The East’s final doesn’t seem to offer the sizzle of what will be going on out West. The gap between the Cavaliers and the Raptors on paper seems much larger than that single game that separated them in the regular-season standings. But Toronto makes for a much bigger Cinderella story, not only representing a city but also an entire country.