Jason Whitlock thinks the Raptors will be a ‘real challenge’ for the Cavaliers in the playoffs

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Chris Broussard and Jason McIntyre join Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock discuss whether Toronto can beat Cleveland in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

- Whitlock, you think he's worried about the Raptors?

- Yeah, I think everything he said there was 1000% authentic, and he gets that Toronto has continuity-- something the Cavaliers just do not have this year.

They have Dwane Casey, a coach who is really, I think, coming into his own as one of the elite coaches in the league, and DeRozan and Lowry and Ibaka and all-- it's all working in Toronto, and I expect Toronto to win the game tonight, and I think Toronto is going to be a real challenge for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. And so yeah, I think LeBron is actually worried.

COLIN COWHERD: Here's the thing. Can we agree on two things? The NBA playoffs are generally-- veterans have an advantage and stars take control. DeRozan and Lowry in the playoffs-- I think have the second and third worst field goal percentages of any players in the league in the last five years.

LeBron's really good in the playoffs, and Kevin Love in spots has been really effective. I'm going with Love-LeBron over Lowry and DeRozan. I think there are teams, especially teams that have underachieved in the playoffs, that put more pride and effort in regular season achievement, and I think Toronto has peaked, and I think the Cavs have a long way to elevate.

JASON WHITLOCK: Real quick, Chris. I just think they're like a team that's taking their lumps. They're used to-- you know, Jordan took his lumps in the playoffs before he finally got over the hump, but go ahead.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: No, everything LeBron said was legitimate, OK, and he should give Toronto the adequate respect. They deserve respect when you go play with them. You know, don't take them lightly.

But if he is worried-- if that's the word-- worried about Toronto, he will have to surrender his candidacy for the goat. If you're worried about Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and the Toronto Raptors, then you can't be the goat. I'm sorry.

And LeBron has the athletes, the youth, the shooters, he's the best player in the world-- he cannot be worried. Give them respect--

- Hold on.

- --but no, you can't be worried.

- Hold on. Hold on, Jason. I just think he's saying-- I'm-- if they were a US team, I think some of--

- [LAUGHING] What?

- We dismiss them because they're from Canada.

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- I'm telling you, we dismiss them because they're from Canada.

JASON MCINTYRE: The-- Broussard's problem-- he's not watching enough of Toronto. You remember what happened to them last year?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: No, they look good.

- They got swept by the Cavs. They were making 8.8 threes a game last year-- 21st in the league. So what'd they do? Offseason, they changed. This is going to shock you. They are now making more three-pointers a game than the Golden State Warriors.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: 11.7

- 11.7 a game. Warriors are at 11.6. It's close. That's how you can take down LeBron. Remember those Orlando Magic? Remember back in the day they took down a 66-win LeBron team? How'd they do it? Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu bombing threes. That's the only way. As Cowherd said--

- Was Kevin Love on that team with LeBron?

- I don't think he was, but as Cowherd said--

- Anderson Fairchild.

- --he can't go toe-to-toe with LeBron in the playoffs. So you shoot threes? You've got a chance, and Dwane Casey-- strong Coach of the Year candidate, right?

- Yeah.

- I think they got a legitimate chance. I think Lebron's actually worried.

- Is this the team LeBron was spinning the ball against in the playoffs?

COLIN COWHERD: Yeah. We remember this. This was LeBron toying with them last year. Look at this.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: You think he's worried? Does he look worried?

JASON WHITLOCK: That was last year.

- Kyle Lowry was hurt in that series.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Come on. Cleveland ended the season just as badly last year as they are this year.

COLIN COWHERD: Exactly.

- They lost seven of their last 11--

COLIN COWHERD: Yes.

- 500 ball for like the last three months. This is what they do.

JASON MCINTYRE: Hey, was LeBron shooting guard throwing soup at the coach? Was the coach like-- doesn't know where he is? Injured and out on the sideline-- is he out?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: They're not losing because of the coach.

- None of that was happening in Cleveland last year. Was Kyrie Irving in Cleveland last year?

- You know the biggest advantage?

- Hold on.

- A lot of [INAUDIBLE]

JASON WHITLOCK: You just asked the biggest question. Was Kyrie Irving in Cleveland last year?

COLIN COWHERD: Yeah.

- And he's not this year. I'm tell--

JASON MCINTYRE: [INAUDIBLE] I mean, come on.

- I'm just telling you. If they weren't from Can-- it's easy to laugh because they're from Canada and they're supported by Drake.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: The players aren't from Canada.

JASON WHITLOCK: I know, but the team is.

- I mean, come on.

- Y'all just don't take them seriously.

- Although they do have an international team.

- Yeah.

- They have an international [INAUDIBLE]

- That's the issue.

- OK, here's what I like about Toronto. They're pretty deep, so their starters don't play huge minutes. They will be the most rested, healthiest team in the playoffs. That's something. But if you don't win Game 1 in Toronto against Cleveland, the series is over. I mean, it's over.

JASON MCINTYRE: And that's--

- Because then, there is an emotional shift. OK, here we go again.

- Yep.

- That series could be decided emotionally in about three hours.

- And so nothing that happens tonight will tell you anything about what's going to happen in the playoffs. You don't-- this game is meaningless tonight to you.

COLIN COWHERD: Kind of, yeah.

JASON MCINTYRE: Well, one of the same problems in Toronto--

- Because I don't think Cleveland's figured themselves out yet.

- Toronto's last eight or nine, I believe, Game 1's in the playoffs. And that is-- you're right. That's going to be a killer. If they go in with all the momentum and lose in Game 1, it's like, oh. Here we go again.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Look, Toronto is a good team.

- Good.

- I don't mean to be disrespectful. I mean, they're legit. They're one of the better offensive and defensive teams in the league, but they don't have a superstar-- with all due respect to DeRozan.

Are you going to tell me they're going to be the Detroit Pistons of 2004 or-- who else has won in--

COLIN COWHERD: The Sonics of '76.

- The Sonics of '79. Who else has won it--

- By the way--

- --without a superstar?

- Who was the number one seed in the East last year? Boston.

- Boston.

- You do realize Cleveland beat them, I think, three of those games by 30 points.

JASON WHITLOCK: You know who their superstar is? It's where McIntyre started the conversation-- that 11.7 three-pointers they're hitting a game. That's their superstars.

JASON MCINTYRE: Well, and when in doubt, go to Vegas-- Vegas has Cleveland and Toronto exactly 12 to 1 to win the title, so it's even according to Vegas, and I know you like Vegas.

- Cleveland's never going to be high in the odds because their record.

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