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Lewenberg: Game Day Notebook - Raptors at Cavaliers

Josh Lewenberg

2/27/2013 12:21:25 PM

The Toronto Raptors (23-34) will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-38) on Wednesday – 7:00 PM tip – in a matchup between two of the Eastern Conference's most improved teams this month. After abysmal starts to the season both clubs have turned things around in February. Toronto has won seven of 11 games after acquiring Rudy Gay from Memphis and Cleveland is 6-5 this month, winning 10 of its last 17.  However, the home team will be in for a challenge playing in the second night of a back-to-back once again without the services of their best player.

The Cavs will be missing leading scorer Kyrie Irving for a second straight night as he continues to rest a hyperextended right knee. The All-Star point guard, sixth in the league scoring 23.3 points per game, was sidelined for Tuesday's 101-98 victory in Chicago and is due to miss his 13th game of the campaign in Wednesday's home tilt against the Raptors. Cleveland is 3-9 without the reigning rookie of the year in its lineup. The teams have split the season series at a game apiece, each winning on the road. Cleveland took the last meeting, 99-98 at the Air Canada Centre on January 26th, thanks to Irving's game winning three-pointer with less than a second left.

 

“With Rudy there the floor is open. They've got to send one of their best defenders to guard him so there's more space to drive. That's the biggest thing that Rudy has brought to the table, is the space that he gives the ball and also to DeMar.”
-- Raptors coach Dwane Casey

 

“We've got to come out and play mad, desperate and with that hit-first approach. We can't get back on our heels and let Cleveland attack us defensively. We can't let them attack us offensively either, we've got to be the hit first guys.”
-- Casey