Awash in a sea of misery, the Toronto Raptors are facing an impossible task. Few teams have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit and won an entire series. To round it all off, the Raptors are facing a team that did that two years ago. Five members of the 2016 NBA championship squad still remain on the Cavalier's roster, leaders of a resurgent squad poised to advance to the NBA finals again.

The Cavaliers still have work to do. They've already bungled a chance to end a series early already. They only have one convincing win over the Raptors in this series.

The other two games they have won came down to the final seconds and then some. Can the Raptors extend the series, or will the Cavaliers complete the sweep and earn a week of rest?

Toronto Raptors

Placing aside LeBron James, the Raptors still appear capable of winning this game. According to, Toronto's biggest problem is that of Kyle Lowry and DeMar Rozan, Toronto's best players; one will put in a good performance in a game while the other vanishes into thin air.

In game 3, according to, DeMar Rozan only made three shots and was benched during the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry chipped in 27 points in a heroic, but ultimately fruitless effort to keep his team afloat. Both must step up if the Raptors are to have any chance of winning game 4.

Cleveland's newfound defense is putting the clamps on Toronto's offense. J.R. Smith is torturing DeMar, while reserve Jeff Green is causing mayhem all over the court. Having consistent offense throughout the entire game will be crucial. According to Steve Aschburner, what cost Game 3 was the poor performances the Raptors put in leading up to the fourth quarter.

As illustrated by that quarter, desperation is the Raptors' final hope. Many a team has suddenly discovered how good they are when placed in a situation like this one. The Raptors stopped hunting in the forest, scoring 38 points before having their hearts torn out by a LeBron James final basket.

The question is, will this be enough?

Or will the Raptors go the way of the dinosaurs? What they must do, as their coach Dwane Casey said, "The easy thing is just to write us off and write ourselves off. But you choose to be a warrior. You choose to continue the fight.”


Where to begin other than LeBron James. The most talented basketball player in the entire world has carried this team on his back until recently. Nobody alive can stop him, and it would be fruitless for the Raptors to try. Many teams have tried to double or triple team the King, only to be punished mercilessly by LeBron's teammates.

HIs buddies have finally stepped up. As Jeff Zillgitt in USA Today has noted, the recovery of George Hill from injury has added depth and stability, while Kyle Korver and J.R.

Smith have added crucial three-point shooting ability. But the most significant factor of all has been the return of Kevin Love.

As long as Kevin Love plays like a superstar, Cleveland's opponents are in trouble. Kevin has 52 points in the last two games and has countless valuable rebounds to his name. In addition, he has anchored the reserves, allowing LeBron to rest.

But the Cavaliers will have to be cautious. Overconfidence has to lead to teams losing on the cusp of their success. Just ask the Golden State Warriors about the 2016 NBA Finals. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue knows this, warning his team, "They're going to come out swinging like they did Saturday, and when you have a team with a lot of pride that's well-coached, they're not just going to give up."

Tonight should be another thriller for the ages.