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PREVIEW: Cavaliers return home for Eastern Conference semifinals

Battle of second units

Toronto’s biggest advantage over Cleveland is its bench, as the rotation of point guard Fred VanVleet, shooting guard Delon Wright, small forward C.J. Miles, power forward Serge Ibaka and center Jakob Poeltl has undoubtedly been the game’s best. Out of all second units in the regular season, the Raptors ranked first in efficiency (50.5), efficiency difference (9.9), steals per game (3.8), second in blocks per game (3.1), third in field-goal percentage, fourth in assists per game (9.4) and seventh in rebounds per game (17.5).

Whether James is off the floor or Jeff Green is trying to fill the void left by Love when he is taking a breather, the Cavaliers are going to have to play a full 48 minutes if they want to compete with Casey’s deep, 10-man system. Green is averaging 15 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field (75 percent) and 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the perimeter (71.4 percent) through two games this series. Tristan Thompson also chipped in a 14-point, 12-rebound effort in Game 1.

The depth of each team will keep it competitive.

John Alfes has covered Cleveland sports since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (

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