The Cleveland Cavaliers have enjoyed a long break having gone through their opening two playoff series without dropping a game. They return to action on Tuesday night to face a franchise who have racked up more minutes on the hardwood than any other team in the postseason.
Having overcome the Miami Heat in seven, the Toronto Raptors travel to the Quicken Loans Arena for the opening encounter of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Ahead of game one, GiveMeSport runs through all of the essential facts and figures to whet your appetite for the upcoming clash.
- It is the first playoff series between the two franchises, and the Raptors' first trip to the Conference Finals, who have played a maximum of 14 games so far.
- LeBron James is seeking to become the eighth player to play in at least six straight Finals, joining Bill Russell (10), Tom Heinsohn (9), Sam Jones (9), K.C. Jones (8), Frank Ramsey (8), Bob Cousy (7) and Satch Sanders (6).
- The Canadian influences on this series are Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and Raptors guard Cory Joseph. They were teammates in high school at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., and spent one season together at Texas.
- The Cavaliers hit 77 threes during their sweep of the Atlanta Hawks. Toronto finished 29th during the regular season in opponent three-point percentage (37.3).
- The Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas will miss the first few games with a badly sprained ankle suffered against the Heat. They have turned to Bismack Biyombo, who has resurrected his career with the Raptors after four modest seasons with the Charlotte Hornets.
- The Raptors won the regular season series between the two teams 2-1. Kyle Lowry averaged 31 points on 66 percent shooting, and had the highest player efficiency rating of anyone who played at least 10 minutes per game against the Cavaliers in the regular season.
- Kyrie Irving (1), Tristan Thompson (4), Jonas Valanciunas (5), Bismack Biyombo (7), Iman Shumpert (17) and Cory Joseph (29) were all selected in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft.
- The Cavaliers’ Richard Jefferson and the Raptors’ Luis Scola, both born in 1980, have given their teams unexpected production this season. Jefferson appeared in 74 games and averaged 5.5 points in 17.4 minutes. Scola started 76 games and averaged 8.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 21.5 minutes.
- LeBron James has reached the Conference Finals in eight of his 13 seasons.
- Raptors coach Dwane Casey was Rick Carlisle’s defensive coordinator in 2011, when the Mavericks defeated the Heat in the Finals in six games. After leading a defence that limited both LeBron James to 17.8 points over six games, Casey was hired by the Raptors.
- In 2010, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin turned down the general manager job with the Denver Nuggets, who eventually hired Masai Ujiri for the position. Ujiri went on to earn NBA Executive of the Year honors with the Nuggets in 2012-13, before taking his current job leading the Raptors.