Post game: Miami Heat vs Toronto Raptors

Battle of the 5th spot. To me that’s kind of a non-story. It’s clear there are 4 really good teams in the Eastern Conference and they are way ahead of everyone else. So basically, whoever gets spot 5-8 will have a tough time winning a series, especially without home court advantage.

But I digress…

It’s an important to note however, that this is the Raptors are now 2 games over .500, and that’s a level they have never been at before.

The team was off to a slow start perhaps because they were a little too anxious. The Heat played good defense, and the Raptors was rushing on offense. Turning the ball 7 times in the first quarter, and the Heat made them pay.

However, it’s Toronto’s game the rest of the way. They won every quarter after that. And Bosh despite having a tough time at the free throw line finished the game with 24 pts 18 boards and 4 assists.

It didn’t help the Heat that they were without Michael Beasley for most of the game with a knee injury. Beasley is a player who can create his own shots, which is a rarity on that team. As a result, Wade has to play the entire 2nd half, which would explain his lack of scoring in the 4th quarter. The Raptors cheated to help on Wade a lot and force the other Heat to beat them. And Antoine Wright did a good job in the 2nd half defending one of the best player in the game.

Of course, the Heat just couldn’t stop the Raptors. Miami ranked 12th on defense, but they didn’t look good on D tonight.

Keys to the win:

– The Bench. The starters struggled in the first quarter, the bench made some big plays and getting the points back. Leading the way is Amir Johnson with 11 points (perfect night), Belinelli has another solid game also with 11 points (he reminds me of Ginobilli with his body control; he doesn’t have the explosiveness that Manu has, but Beli can twitch his body to avoid charges as well as anyone). Calderon has 7 assists and Wright is very solid with 9 points and playing good D on Wade.

– The two bigs. Bargnani with 27 points, scoring in a number of ways. Bosh with a huge double double as mentioned above.

– Good game plan on Wade in the 2nd half. No doubt the injury to Beasely helps the Raptors. They dare the other Heat to score and they can’t. Rafer Alston was 4-16 (Rafer should not take 16 shots), QRich was 2-7. Haslem is the only guy who did well, but he isn’t a guy who can create his own shots consistently. O’Neal has 15 points at the half, but only 7 after that. At times, the Miami offense was stagnant, especially when Wade wasn’t touching the ball.

Another game tomorrow, I am not sure we will will win this one though. It’s a back to back so you know the story already and the Knicks will probably play better to start the game, which will make it tougher. Surely, the Knicks has a lot to prove after the Dallas 50 points Massacre on Sunday. Let’s hope I am wrong and the Raps can win another on in NY.




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