2017 Playoffs: Game 3 Preview – Raptors vs. Cavaliers

Toronto’s second-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers shifts to Toronto for Game 3 where the Raptors look to get on the board after the Cavs took a 2-0 series lead in Cleveland.

Tip-off: 7:00 P.M. ET

Broadcast info: SN, ESPN / TSN1050

TALKING POINTS

Cleaning up the mistakes

On the morning after each of Cleveland’s two victories at home, when the Toronto coaching staff was showing game film to the players, there have been encouraging signs of things that can be changed moving forward. Despite a disappointing Game 2 loss, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey mentioned those little things that his team can do as the series continues in Toronto.

“I know it didn’t look like it in the scoreboard but we did some positive things,” he said. “So many more things that we need to clean up, you know, get better at. They’re playing at a high level and we still have another level of intensity, of focus and when you make mistakes against them they make you pay for it and every mistake we made it seemed like we paid for it. Those are the little things that we can control. We have to do a better job of it.”

The biggest thing when playing against a team like Cleveland is limiting your own mistakes because they will make you pay for each of them. After reviewing film and pinpointing mistakes as well as adjustments that are needed, DeMar DeRozan was antsy to get back on the court for Game 3.

“That’s the most frustrating part,” DeRozan said. “Just trying to keep the patience and play and just get this feeling off us. That’s the crappiest part about it.”

When he was asked if he wished that Game 3 had been set for Thursday night, he answered succinctly.

“Yes,” DeRozan said. “That would have been helpful.”

Shooting with confidence

One thing that stood out while watching the game film from Cleveland’s Game 2 victory was the number of good looks available where the Raptors hesitated. Going into Game 3, head coach Dwane Casey wants his shooters to shoot when they have an open look.

“Opportunities, our opportunities to shoot the three, we’ve got to take them,” Casey said. “They’re there. We showed the guys this morning where the opportunities to score are. We were top 10 offensively the entire season. They’re not doing anything different than what we’ve seen this year. We’ve got opportunities we’ve got to take them.”

Cory Joseph hit two of Toronto’s five 3-pointers in the game. He agreed with Casey’s assertion that the team needs to be ready to shoot when the shot is available.

“We have to take them when they’re there,” Joseph said. “For some reason we’re second-guessing right now, trying to find the balance between moving the ball and being aggressive looking for our shots. There are some open ones we passed up and we just have to be comfortable [taking them].

Lowry listed as questionable

Kyle Lowry did not go through the team’s practice on Thursday. After leaving early in the third quarter of Game 2 after suffering a sprained ankle, Lowry returned briefly before being done for the rest of the game. He went through tests on Thursday afternoon and is listed as questionable for Friday’s Game 3 match up.

With Lowry’s status still up in the air, Dwane Casey said the team was preparing for Game 3 with both Lowry and Cory Joseph in the plans. One positive from Game 2 was the play of Joseph.

“[Lowry’s] questionable, but still, I thought Cory Joseph was a bright spot [Wednesday] night,” Casey said. “The confidence he played with, the force he played with, the way he shot the three ball. It’s huge because we need every one of ’em. But with [Lowry] questionable, that’s why you have 15 on the roster. All year long, we’ve always had the next man up mentality. So I have all the trust and confidence in the world [in Cory].”

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