Thank heavens the Raptors pulled out Game 6 in Milwaukee. We all get the entire weekend now to just sit with our thoughts and gather ourselves. How nice. The NBA has other plans however — they’ve already released the schedule for the Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers rematch.
Here’s how the Conference Semifinals shake out, direct from NBA dot com:
(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (3) Toronto Raptors
Game 1 – Mon. May 1, Toronto at Cleveland, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Wed. May 3, Toronto at Cleveland, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri. May 5, Cleveland at Toronto, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. May 7, Cleveland at Toronto, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5 * Tues. May 9, Toronto at Cleveland
Game 6 * Thurs. May 11, Cleveland at Toronto
Game 7 * Sun. May 13, Toronto at Cleveland
Interesting to see a random afternoon game tossed in there, but other than that: no surprises. The Raptors are now in a death-lock with the most dangerous team in their conference for the next week (or more).
As we’ve been saying all season, this — this — is the test. Losing to the Cavaliers is no great shame. Even a defensively weaker Cavs team is still a force. Their offense remains very good, they have a lot of veteran know-how, and if all that fails: they of course have LeBron James.
But, last year the Raptors took on the Cavs and lost four games in embarrassing fashion. Yes, Toronto got to experience two home wins (which were a gift), but the threat was not particularly real.
This time up, even though the rematch comes a round early: we hope for something better. A series win? Maybe. A better showing? Definitely.
Remember the dates and times above.