Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals did not exactly go the way Toronto hoped. To put it kindly. It was more like how Billy Batts ended up in “Goodfellas.”
The real problem for Toronto is when you start to break down things they can do differently — don’t sit Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan at the same time, try to drag Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love into more pick-and-rolls, adjust the defensive strategy to get more rim protection — at best it adds up to a less embarrassing loss. It’s hard to envision Toronto winning a game…
Without Jonas Valanciunas anyway. The Raptors miss their big man — who is recovering from a severe ankle sprain — and his presence the paint on both ends. Here is what the Raptors GM said about missing JV:
Any chance he plays Thursday night in Game 2?
That doesn’t look good. And it’s fair to ask if we will even see him this series — by the time he gets healthy it may be too late.