|Game #2: Raptors vs. Cavaliers|
Oct. 29, 2010, 11:00 AM
Raptors (0-1) vs. Cavaliers (1-0): Air Canada Centre - Toronto, 7 PM, TSN2
It's an intriguing matchup of two teams in similar situations in Game 2 of the regular season, as the Cavaliers make their first of two visits to Air Canada Centre this season.
Matchup To Watch: Reggie Evans vs. J.J. Hickson
The athletic forward had a strong performance at both ends on Friday with 21 points (8-11 FGM-A), six rebounds and a block. Hickson is going to be even more of a focal point up front tonight with Anderson Varejao not playing (see blow).
Varejao's absence also means roughly 10 extra rebounds up for grabs tonight, which must seem better than a giant bag of Skittles to Evans.
The Big Story: Coping With Loss (To South Beach)
Much like the Raptors, the Cavaliers are beginning a new era based on a need for total team play in the absence of a superstar and they received just that in an eye-opening 95-87 opening-night win over the Celtics.
Former Raptor Anthony Parker drilled a crucial three-pointer with 2:29 to play that Cleveland the lead and momentum for good. Parker (10 points) was among six Cleveland players to score in double-figures.
Parker won't be the only Raptor returning to Air Canada Centre. Forwards Jamario Moon and Joey Graham will also be back tonight.
Some change on the Ed Davis front, as Jay Triano revealed at Thursday's practice that the rookie forward has stepped up his participation in five-on-zero non-contact drills. Still no word on an estimated date for full-contact drills.
Joey Dorsey is available today as he returns from a league-imposed, one-game suspension for taking a preseason swipe at Chicago's Brian Scalabrine.
The Cavs won Wednesday without high-scoring guard Mo Williams (groin injury, persona reasons). He remains questionable for tonight's game.
Energetic big man Anderson Varerjao did not travel with the team as is listed as doubtful for tonight's contest. He has remained in Cleveland to be with his father, who is scheduled to have heart surgery today.
Last Time They Met
The last time these two teams met on April 6, Chris Bosh was dropped by an inadvertend elbow from Antawn Jamison that ended his playing days with Toronto. The Raptors went on to lose that game 113-101.
Cleveland took three of four matchups in last season's series, but you can throw those numbers out the window with both teams now markedly different, most notably the Cavs' addition of Byron Scott as head coach. It's been about a full year to the day since the Raptors last defeated the Cavaliers at Air Canada Centre -- a thrilling 101-91 opening night win on Oct. 28, 2009.
Akil Augustine and I discuss all of the action in our LIVE CHAT tonight, beginning right before tip-off at 7 PM. Hope to see you there.