One of the most anticipated series in the NBA playoffs tips off Tuesday night in Toronto, where the up-and-coming, top-seeded Raptors will host the three-time conference champion Cavs in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Game 1 of the series is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on TNT. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch a Cavs vs. Raptors live stream on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
How to Watch the Cavs-Raptors Game Online Without Cable
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including TNT. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: TNT is included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: TNT is included in either the “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” base package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
Cavs vs. Raptors Preview
Cavs-Raptors is what oddsmakers view as the most competitive of the four NBA conference semifinals series, and it’s easy to see why. The Cavs, despite all their flaws, are the three-time defending conference champions. LeBron James will be on the floor, and he’s some of the best basketball of his career. The Raptors had the East’s best regular-season record, and they have home-court advantage in what’s sure to be a raucous atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre.
Oddsmakers have Toronto as a modest favorite tonight, with sports books putting the line between 6 and 7 points. The Raptors are also favored to win the series, but it’s close. Sports books view the Raptors as being in similar position to the 76ers, who have already lost a game against the Celtics. Cleveland, which has eliminated Toronto from the postseason in each of the past two seasons, is a live underdog.
The two teams have had fascinating seasons for different reasons. The Raptors, who finished third in the East last year and lost to the Cavs in the conference semifinals, put together their best record in franchise history, beating out the Celtics by four games to win the regular season conference title. In what now looks like a huge mistake, Cleveland traded Kyrie Irving to Boston in the offseason for Isaiah Thomas, only to get virtually no production out of Thomas before flipping him to the Lakers during a mid-season roster overhaul.
As is often the case, a lot of the intrigue in the series revolves around James, who will be playing in his 43rd playoff series. The King was as dominant as ever during Cleveland’s first-round series against Indiana, capping off the series with a 45-point showing in a 105-101 Game 7 win on Sunday despite batting cramps in the fourth quarter. He told reporters afterward that he was “burnt” and wasn’t ready to think about the Raptors until he got home.
This is almost undoubtedly the worst supporting cast James has had in this go-around with the Cavs. But James’ presence alone means the series is far from a shoo-in for Toronto.