The Cavs and Raptors will meet on Tuesday night to begin their Eastern Conference Semifinal series after Cleveland finally dispatched of the Pacers on Sunday afternoon.
There are plenty of storylines going into the matchup, from Toronto having a chance to finally get past the team that has consistently knocked them out of the playoffs in recent years to whether the Cavs’ role players will provide enough help for LeBron James after most of them struggled in the opening round.
Beyond the on court stories, this series also features two players in DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love that have spoken out this year about battling mental health issues. The NBA and NBPA have begun working on a mental wellness program for players following those stories and others from the likes of Kelly Oubre Jr. of the Wizards, and it has sparked a conversation about it that has been ignored for far too long.
Over the weekend, the NBA released a new PSA starring Love and DeRozan that encourages people to be willing to ask for help when it comes to mental health issues.
“The best thing I did was to come out and say, look, I need some help,” Love says.
“We all go through it, I don’t care who you are,” DeRozan says. “Never be ashamed of wanting to be a better you, period.”
It’s a good message and to have it coming from a pair of All-Star caliber players is important. Hopefully this is the beginning of taking away the stigma of depression and other mental health issues and letting people know they aren’t alone in dealing with them and that asking for help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.