Gary | Fri 27/05/2016 - 12:45 EDT

NBA Eastern Conference Final Game 6 Prediction

Raptors Vs Cavs Game 6 Matchup Comparison

By Dan Favale

Toronto Raptors (+6.5) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-6.5)

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No one expects the Toronto Raptors to be favored in this Game 6 matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, not even after winning Games 3 and 4 at home, in front of their deafeningly loud fans. They have not earned that right. They have not even come close to earning that right.

The Cavaliers are also that good. But this is mostly about the Raptors, and their maddening inconsistencies not just through the Eastern Conference Finals, but through the entire playoffs. Just when you think they have found a blueprint, they deviate from it. They start missing shots. They stop protecting the paint. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan dissappear, again, at the same time.

Still, the Raptors have been markedly better at home during the postseason. They have lost just twice during these playoffs. The role players tend to perform better in front of the home crowd, particularly Bismack Biyombo, who thrives off the noise and uses it to create chaos around the rim and on the glass.

Both DeRozan and Lowry look markedly more comfortable at home as well. DeRozan has been pretty good to great all series and should be able to improve upon his clunker from Game 5, even with the Cavaliers sending additional traps his way. Lowry just needs to keep going through the motions. His shots will fall. He is getting quality looks, even with the extra defensive attentions Clevelands throws at hiim now, too.

And that brings us to the key for this game: Toronto's supporting cast must, and I mean must, come up big in Game 6. Not just Biyombo, but everyone.

The Cavaliers are going to let the Raptors' complementary shooters get looks until they prove that they are consistent threats. Cory Joseph needs to attack the basket off the catch more. Terrence Ross and DeMarre Carroll must find their spot up shooting touch from downtown. Same with Patrick Patterson.

The more shots the Raptors role players knock down, the fewer double teams Cleveland is able to employ. And that, in turn, opens up lanes for DeRozan and Lowry, making it easier for them to attack off the dribble or drain jumpers on defenders who respect their ability to finish around the rim.

We have been waiting for a close game all series—a real close game, not the artificial one like we had in Game 4. And on Friday night, with the Raptors facing elimination, at home, in front of some rowdy fans, we should get it, rendering this 6.5 point spread a bit too large for our tastes.

The Pick: Raptors (+6.5)

Category : Sports Betting News

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