The Raptors evened their regular season record at 1 and 1 with a dominant victory last night over an under-manned Cavs squad...
After a few nights of NBA basketball watching one thing has become painfully obvious to me.
There are some really bad teams in the East.
Toronto and New York hardly looked like playoff clubs in their opening match, the Wizards looked like a D League club Thursday night in their match against Orlando on Thursday night, and the Cavs last night minus Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao looked like they'd have a tough time with some of the top NCAA clubs.
So is the way of the Eastern Conference.
For Raptors' fans though it means there are lots of opportunities to get wins if they play as a complete unit, and that's what occurred last night.
Point-wise, Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza led the charge with 20 and 19 points respectively, but Toronto had five players in double figures and another monster night from Reggie Evans on the glass. Reggie grabbed 14 boards, 5 on the offensive glass, and again did a great job keeping the ball moving on O.
Well minus two of their biggest guns they just couldn't get it going.
Cleveland shot 37% from the field, was destroyed on the glass by Toronto, and just didn't have the horses to compete in this one. The biggest indicator of this I thought was at the free-throw line, where the Cavs took only TEN shots all night!
The Raps grabbed this one from the very tip and never looked back.
And considering the upcoming road trip, and the slew of games after that, it's important that the Dinos did.
If Toronto wants to ensure a solid start to the season, getting a confidence building win before these upcoming games was a must.
From a player perspective, this one was a confidence builder too.
Bargnani had a much more efficient game offensively last night, Kleiza was very aggressive demanding the ball in the post and the two did some nice work looking for each other and re-post situations.
Off the bench guys like Weems, Barbosa and Andersen put in solid minutes and Amir Johnson finally got involved, doing a bit of everything.
It's this total team effort that's going to be essential during the season and if Toronto can get a few W's using it early on, it certainly bodes well for the rest of the season.
Especially considering some of their "Leastern Conference" competition.