2017 Playoffs: Game 2 Preview - Raptors at Cavaliers
The Toronto Raptors are eager to tip off Game 2 in their second-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday after dropping a 116-105 decision in Game 1.
Tip-off: 7:00 P.M. ET
Broadcast info: SN, TNT / TSN1050
Reviewing the film
With the Game 1 loss fresh on everyone's minds, Tuesday's practice session involved lots of game tape. Watching miscommunications and breakdowns isn't fun, but the positives come from seeing areas where improvements can be made. Much of the team mentioned the importance of cleaning up little mistakes and mental errors.
"Taking care of the ball," Lowry said. "Taking good shots, being confident in the shots we take and just being together. Play with a better pace."
Watching film was a positive for head coach Dwane Casey, who noticed areas the team can improve for Game 2.
"Saw a lot of things we can do to get better," Casey said. "We have another gear to get to that I don't think we got to last night. We did it in stretches. Had some positive things in stretches. It wasn't as bad as it felt going through it."
Playing with pace
From Kyle Lowry to DeMar DeRozan to Dwane Casey, pace was a popular topic after Tuesday's practice. Though Casey is known for being a defensive-minded coach, playing against a high-scoring team like the Cavaliers means adjusting expectations.
"The league is changing," Casey said. "The league is changing and you've got to change or get stuck in the mud. It's more of a scoring league now. We've got to score points. We've got to manufacture points and not get down because other teams score. If they score, boom, next play. We've got to have a next play mentality. Not to say defence isn't important because it is, but we can't get caught up in we got to stop them.
"I think the days of the 24-point quarters, the 25-point quarters are kind of sliding away," he continued. "We've got to make sure we have the mentality, and we have the players to do it, to put points on the board tit for tat and slow them down as much as possible."
Kyle Lowry agreed with Casey's assessment, particularly when it comes to reacting after the Cavs score.
"I think when they score you can't put your head down," Lowry said. "You've got to get the ball out, run down the floor and not look for a play call, get a play call secondary. Try to get something easy. Try to get a jump shot, an open look quickly, get a layup. I think a lot of things they did yesterday, when they made a shot we took our time. It's just a difficult pace to play at when you're playing against a team that can roam, that can kind of junk up the game defensively."
Playing with poise
The Raptors gave up multiple runs in the first quarter of Game 1, and after the opening 12 minutes, the Cavaliers were ahead 30-18. Heading into Game 2, limiting Cleveland's offensive flurries is important. Especially with the Cavs playing on their home floor.
"They play extremely well here," DeMar DeRozan said. "And it seems like once one shot goes in for them it gets contagious for them. It's something we've got to shut down out the gate and understand this is their comfort zone. We've got to make it kind of ours, too, in a hostile environment."
Like Lowry and Casey, DeRozan talked about the need to limit mistakes, and to make things difficult for the Cavaliers on the defensive end of the floor.
"Offensively, we missed a lot of shots we normally make," DeRozan said. "We didn't take a lot of shots we normally take. We were kind of hesitant on that. We pick that up on both sides, you know, I like our chances."