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Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors

That’s A Rap #175: Play-in to avoid the play-in

In the latest episode, Jay and Jay discuss Pascal spinning his way into the All-NBA conversation before diving into some playoff possibilities.

Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: in a critical matchup between Cleveland and Toronto, a dynamic, All-NBA caliber forward was unstoppable in every facet of the game.

Although Thursday’s playoff-like game was billed as a battle for the Rookie of the Year award, it was Pascal Siakam who stole the show and carried the Raptors to a 6th-place tie with the Cavaliers.

Toronto’s determination to get out of a play-in matchup with Brooklyn doesn’t hide the fact that a subsequent first-round match could be with any of the four teams squished at the top of the East. It’s still too early to debate first-round opponents but it’s already evident there’s one team that Raptors fans don’t want to see.

We’re down to the final episodes of the regular season — with a special episode on the horizon — so make sure to include any thoughts or comments below.

In This Episode:

5:50 — Play-in before the play-in

Pascal Siakam could do no wrong against Cleveland. He ran the point with purpose, cooked Lauri Markkanen on seemingly every possession, and took over the scoring load at crunch time. As long as this version of Siakam is around, it won’t matter which team is on the other side.

22:56 — Playoff picture

The Raptors may be the “first-round opponent no one wants to face”, but whether it’s Brooklyn or Boston, that doesn’t mean Toronto doesn’t also have a team or two they’d like to avoid. Is there another team you would not like the Raptors to face in the first round?

32:50 — Kyle Lowry over every....tussle

Are the Heat falling apart? Is Jimmy Butler, the confrontational teammate, re-emerging again in Miami? Why did Kyle Lowry walk away, mid-argument, when he’s had a history of playing peacemaker? Who was Lowry directing his timeout towards?

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