It’s safe to say Cleveland was not prepared for what the Toronto Raptors brought on Thursday night. Fresh off of a drubbing at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cavaliers entered the North side of the border with an intent to get back in the right column. However, that was the furthest from what actually happened during the contest. While not having Kyle Lowry or Serge Ibaka should have limited Toronto, it certainly did not. Fred Van Vleet had a field day. That’s what kind of day it was.
Let’s look at the three takeaways from tonight.
1. Van Vleet Balls Out- Former Wichita State Shocker Fred Van Vleet had an excellent night Thursday, scoring 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting while also collecting four rebounds and four assists. Van Vleet obviously saw more time due to the Lowry absence and flourished mightily in a fill-in job.
For Van Vleet, it’s only good things from here in terms of minutes in Toronto. For Cleveland, it’s quite alarming. Fred Van Vleet should never be the leading-scorer for the opposition in a blowout loss.
2. Paint Domination- If Cleveland had problems before on the glass, they certainly have more now. Being out rebounded 63-35 is absolutely disgraceful and is not what the Cavs have in mind with a superb rebounder in both units in Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. That wasn’t the case.
Jonas Valanciunas collected eighteen rebounds and Jakob Poeltl finished with twelve rebounds to completely embarrass the Cavs on the glass.
3. Agendas Of Their Own- After the game, Cavs Head Coach Tyronn Lue discusses that maybe the Cavs aren’t playing well due to some “personal agendas”. When asked with a follow-up on if he believes in the theory, lue said he didn’t know.
That’s alarming, no matter how badly you want to brush the loss under the rug. With every dismantling, Cleveland is becoming unglued. Can they get it back on track?