The second-round matchup between the Cavs and the Raptors has all sorts of intrigue built into it. Cleveland, of course, has eliminated Toronto from the playoffs the past few years, with LeBron James clearly taking up considerable real estate in their mental space.
But the Cavs are more vulnerable than ever, especially given their recent seven-game slugfest with the Indiana Pacers that wrapped up on Sunday. So the Raptors have to be feeling pretty good about their chances to finally get over the hump and defeat their long-time nemeses.
And nobody is feeling better about that than rookie OG Anunoby, for some reason. When speaking to reporters on Monday, Anunoby had a lot of thoughts about the upcoming matchup, particular the prospect of trying to defend LeBron for the next several games, which he is certainly not backing down from.
Obviously, you love to see that kind of confidence out of the rookie. And how’s he supposed to respond, anyway? But there’s also something to be said for not poking the bear. After all, just look at how LeBron obliterated everyone who attempted to defend him in the first round. Coach Dwane Casey is coming in with a bit more wariness when it comes to LeBron, refusing to believe that James is as worn out as people think he is entering this series.
In any case, Anunoby has a lot of spunk, and at 6’8, 235 pounds, he’s a good size to try and body up The King, so it’ll definitely be interesting to watch when Game 1 tips off in Toronto on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.