There were a lot of things to dissect about the game, which was a wonderful effort by the Raptors. But, ultimately, the Heat could run crunch-time possessions for James and Wade; the Raptors relied on Anderson, out of the league for five years before last season, to take eight shots in the fourth quarter. It is a talent deficit, pure and simple, one that many teams have against the Heat.
LeBron James didn’t actually take his talents to South Beach. That’s a few klicks east of here, across the MacArthur Causeway. He took his talents to downtown Miami, where their top priority is to avoid seeming to care. The local basketball crowd doesn’t show up until halfway through the second quarter. When they get here, they spend 20 minutes getting their drinks order sorted. They start watching basketball after the half.
The Raptors entered the American Airlines Center with hopes of a second straight win, and first win in Miami since 2008. They left with somewhat of a ‘moral victory’, having provided the reigning champs with tough competition all night long. The Raptors may not have earned the win, but they played one of the best games of their season, and proved they can stay tough with the best teams in the NBA.
Helloooo, Terrence Ross. The Raps opened the game absolutely shredding the Heat’s defense with surgeon-like precision and crisp passing. Can’t stress enough how the springy legs of Ross, Amir Johnson and Ed Davis made the Heat’s frontcourt look like petrified wood out there. The Raptors may be young, but they played supremely high-IQ basketball against the defending champs. Credit coach Dwane Casey for their prep. Tough loss.
Playing against his former team, Chris Bosh relatively flew under the radar tonight, something he’s seemingly done throughout this season. Bosh did however do a solid job on the glass, grabbing a game high 12 rebounds and double doubling with 12 points.
LeBron James, man…LeBron James. At the end of the fourth quarter, after James had missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer and had committed a couple of bad turnovers late, I was thinking about how he wasn’t having as great of a game as we’re used to. Then I checked the boxscore, and promtly realized that he was closing in on his second triple-double of the season. LeBron finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists while shooting over 50 per cent from the floor. Basically, he’s at the point where performances like this – a career game for the average player – are considered the norm. He’s simply on another planet right now, and as much as I’d prefer he has an off-night against the Raptors, it’s still fun to watch one of the most dominating players in NBA history do his thing.
Shocking the Lakers on Sunday wasn’t enough for the Raptors. The team had bigger things in mind. Like knocking off the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in Florida for instance. It almost came to pass.
“I cannot fault our guys’ effort,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “They fought, they scrapped, they played with their hearts and they took one of the best teams in the NBA to the limit. That’s what I said before the game. This game is about respect. This game’s about going out there and not letting teams think they’re going to come out and get their numbers against you. And our guys fought.”
Overtime allowed LeBron James to record his second triple-double of the season and 34th of his career. He finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. James pulled down his final rebound of the game on the last possession. He had five rebounds in the five-minute overtime period. “We played good basketball,” James said. “Not for … 53 minutes tonight, but we played some really good basketball. We continued to share the ball, we continued to trust and we rebounded at a high clip.”
The Toronto Raptors are suffering through a depressing period of deja vu. For the third game in four, the Raps pushed an opponent, this time no less than the NBA champion Miami HEAT, to overtime – and lost. The Raps had a four point lead early in OT, but folded, giving up 11 straight points against the relentless HEAT. A valiant effort…
The Raptors have been a complete joke and failure since Chris Bosh left. You can debate and argue about how that all came to be, but it is ultimately the truth. Andrea Bargnani is not as good a player as Chris Bosh was with the Raptors. Bosh was an all-star talent and Bargnani isn’t. You can debate Bosh’s merits as a leader and build a strong case he isn’t one. That said Vince Carter wasn’t either but the franchise surrounded him with guys that were. It led to the only real success this franchise has had for the most part.
With Wade and James on the bench, this Heat team is totally different haha. They’re pretty much like the Raptors
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