Game Two: Heat @ Raptors

lowry-half-court

Happy Cinco de Mayo. The Raptors look to rebound after a tough game one loss to Miami. If you didn’t see game one, you missed this:

Turns out it was all for nothing, as we ended up losing in overtime. It was bold of the Raptors to think we didn’t need points in the extra frame, as they went almost the first four minutes without scoring a bucket. And they still almost ended up winning, because Miami played so bad. Both teams looked incredibly sloppy. I actually expected that from Toronto, but it was comforting to see a veteran team like Miami play equally as bad as us. And oh boy did we played like shit. Lowry, DeRozan, everyone except JV really. Even the usually poised Corey Joseph played awful. Their backcourt flat out dominated ours, yet still, we were within three points with 10 seconds to go in overtime. At least two of them won’t play that bad tonight, I guarantee it. So that’s a good sign.

Lineup

PG – Kyle Lowry
SG – DeMar DeRozan
SF – Norman Powell
PF – DeMarre Carroll
C – JV

Nothing’s official yet, as usual. I actually hated Norman Powell in the starting lineup. I know Casey wanted to go smaller against the Heat, but Powell got smoked by Dwayne Wade. I love Powell off the bench, but he hasn’t played well as a starter yet in the playoffs. Even though Patty is better off the bench as well, I’d still rather see him on the floor, then you can switch to a veteran like Carroll onto Wade, and put another vet in Patty on Johnson. I just like Carroll at the three better than the four. Or if you really want to go small, start T-Ross in the three. Guy’s played lights out against Miami all year, including Tuesday night. He was also pretty much the only guy hitting threes in game one.

Who to Watch

Jonas-Valanciunas

To say JV was more effective than Biz would be an understatement. JV played really well again, in a much tougher matchup this round against Hassan Whiteside. The big guy put up 24 points and 14 rebounds for yet another playoff double-double. He also went +10 on the floor, in 41 minutes of action. Biz, on the other hand, got decimated by the strong defense of the Heat. In just 11:33, Biz went -11 on the floor, and picked up two early fouls. He also got caught for a defensive three-second violation on two different occasions. Playing every second day this round makes it impossible to have JV playing 40+ minutes a night, so Biz will need to be reliable in order to cut down the big guy’s minutes.

Prediction

The good news is, the Raps have yet to lose back-to-back games in the playoffs, and I think that trend will continue tonight. Again, the Raptors played awful in game one, and still got the game into overtime. All they have to do is play average tonight and they should win. But to quote Jackie Moon: “We just gotta start hitting our threes!” We shot 23.8% beyond the arc, which is horrible. The Heat, on the other hand, shot a ridiculous 72.7%. That’s impossible to keep up, so if we can bring our numbers up this game shouldn’t be an issue. Raptors win 96-87. Terrence Ross somehow has a big game again.

hot-raptors-fan

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