HEAT Continue Road Trip In Toronto
Photo Credit: David Sherman
When the HEAT step onto the floor at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night at 7:30PM, they’ll try to do what no team has been able to do this season.
Beat the Raptors at home.
But before we get into Toronto, let’s discuss Miami’s thrilling 109-106 victory over the Nets on Sunday.
Thanks to some strong takes to the rack by Jimmy Butler and great defense from both he and Bam Adebayo, the HEAT closed out the game on a 10-0 run to seal the deal. Of course, Goran Dragić also continued to do his thing with a team-high 24 points, including a big bucket in the fourth that got the run started.
With Dragić out this time around, Miami will likely need to dig even deeper versus a Raptors team that has won seven straight games.
Despite being without some key contributors for a bulk of the year, Toronto is still second in the East at 15-4 (Miami is right behind them at 14-5) and, like the HEAT, ranked among the top 10 in net rating, assist percentage and true shooting percentage.
So yeah, these are two very good teams.
What’s more, the Raptors might get even tougher with Kyle Lowry inching closer to a return from a left thumb fracture. But even if he doesn’t play against Miami, Fred VanVleet and Normal Powell have been able to pick up the slack in his stead.
VanVleet is averaging career-highs across the board, including a team-high 7.5 assists, while Powell has been on a hot streak of late with 16.7 points, 2.9 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per contest on 40.0 percent shooting from deep over Toronto’s last seven.
We also can’t forget about Pascal Siakam, who has followed up his Most Improved Player campaign with even better numbers. Simply put, Siakam is the key to everything the Raptors do, as he owns a 13.5 net rating.
Long story short, this should be one heck of a matchup.
INJURY/STATUS REPORT: Goran Dragić (Right Groin Strain) and KZ Okpala (Left Achilles Strain) are out for Miami.
Kyle Lowry (Left Thumb Fracture) is questionable, while Stanley Johnson (Left Groin Stress Reaction), Patrick McCaw (Left Knee Surgery), Matt Thomas (Left Middle Finger Fracture), Oshae Brissett (G League - On Assignment), Dewan Hernandez (G League - On Assignment) and Shamorie Ponds (G League - Two-Way) are all out for Toronto.