It was three years ago yesterday that the Miami Heat had their famous players only meeting, after starting the new Wade-LeBron-Bosh era off by going 9-8. 9-8 may sound good to Raptor fans, who haven’t see  a record like that since 2007, but to the team some predicted might break the ’96 Chicago Bulls record for 72 wins, it was not a promising start.

Raptor fans delighted in the start, and it wasn’t just schadenfreude upon seeing former Raptor, Chris Bosh, struggle with his new team. The Raptors owned the Heat’s first round pick the next June, and what was assumed to be a late first round pick started to look like it might be much more valuable.

Of course, after the meeting, the Heat ran off twelve straight wins, went 21-1, over the next 22 games, finished the season with 59 wins and made it to the Finals. They followed that up by winning back-to-back Championships.

Things obviously went a little differently for the Raptors, over that period. In their first 15 games in the post-Bosh era, the Raptors went 6-9, and finished the season 22-60.

If the Raptors lose tonight against the Heat, their record will be 6-9.

Over the next two seasons, we saw the Raptors attempt, and predictably fail, to turn Andrea Bargnani into Dirk Nowitzki. We saw Bryan Colangelo swing and miss (to varying degrees) on a number of deals, including trying and failing to sign Steve Nash, a move that would have been more disastrous if successful, and included overpaying Landry Fields in order to prevent the Knicks from signing Nash. As well as giving up a lottery pick for a mercurial Kyle Lowry, and the chance to draft Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk or Giannis Antetokounmpo, all of whom have shown plenty of promise. And lastly, trading for the overrated and overpaid Rudy Gay, who Colangelo tried to sell as the franchise player the Raptors had been looking for.

Thankfully, the Colangelo era is over, but things don’t seem to have changed all that much.


Raptor fans are still clamouring to trade an overpriced enigma, who has been built up by the franchise as something he is not, and who simply doesn’t play as well as he should. They’re still complaining that the young big man draft pick isn’t getting enough playing time to develop properly, that the coach makes poor in-game decisions and needs to be fired, and that the recent shooting guard draft pick is far too inconsistent.

The more things change in Raptorland, the more they remain the same.

So these two teams under very different circumstances meet tonight. The Heat are in second place in the East with a winning percentage that puts them on pace for a 65 win season. While it’s usually unlikely a team would be able to continue that type of success throughout the season, with so many poor teams in the East, it’s possible the Heat (and Pacers) could win in the mid-60s, this year.

The Raptors are currently a fourth seed in the East, but that’s only thanks to being on top of a historically awful Atlantic Division. There’s only a one game difference between the fourth seed and being a lottery team.  Yes, it’s early, but I am having trouble getting over just how bad the Eastern Conference is this season. The Raptor’s current winning percentage would give them 35 wins, over the course of the season, and that’s enough to be on top in the Atlantic, right now.


Will Dwane Casey play into the Heat’s hand and match them when they go small?  


The teams that have had the most success against the Heat, the last few seasons, have been teams with big front lines that have forced Miami to try and go big, something they simply don’t have the personnel to do as well as teams like Indiana and San Antonio.

The Heat have the best small ball team in the NBA because they have a 6’9, 250 lbs small forward who most power forwards in the league can’t contain down low and is possibly the most impressive physical specimen the league has ever seen. Go small against them is asking for trouble.

The Raptors have a legit 7 foot center who is a threat in the post and good sized front line, but Casey has always been frustratingly quick to adjust to the other team’s lineup rather than make them adjust to his. And, not surprisingly, it’s usually gotten him into trouble. Yes, the Raptors have Rudy Gay, who is one of the few small forwards in the league big and athletic enough to matchup against LeBron, but the Heat have always had trouble defending the interior, and are currently last in the league in rebounding the ball, so keeping the Raptor’s best rebounders (Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough) on the floor as much as possible will give the team the best chance to win.

In the game against the Heat last month, Casey had Gay playing a lot of power forward and the only big man to play more than 23 minutes was Valanciunas, who still just played 27 minutes.

Which Rudy Gay will show up tonight?


When Gay is passing the ball and being aggressive, the Raptors tend to play well. When he has his blinders on, chucks up a lot of contested long twos and drives the ball into crowds of defenders who strip him of it, then the team struggles. Gay averages nearly two more assists per game in wins than he does in losses.

Gay has tended to play better against better competition and played well against the Heat, last season, but in his only game against the Heat this year, he shot poorly and turned the ball over a lot in a loss.

Will Chris Bosh get booed?

Of course he will. Raptor fans are a bitter, vindictive bunch who can’t let things go.


The Heat have twice as many wins as the Raptors, and it’s not even December yet. They have three, possibly four Hall of Fame players and are currently on pace to win 30 more games than the Raptors. Do you really need a positional breakdown to tell you the Heat are a better team?


The Heat have just three losses, so far and they were against Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Boston. What do those teams have in common besides they all suck, right now? I have no clue. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, and only the Nets are really a big team.

The one thing the Raptors have going for them is the Heat will often play down to their competition and allow their opponent more of a chance to stay with them than they should.

The Raptors definitely have a chance to win, but the Heat are playing better than they were when they lost their three games earlier in the season.

Score: Heat 103 – Raptors 92

  • 9tail

    When Bosh is at the free-throw line, we should get a chant going:

    “We respect your decision” Clap-clap-clap

    “We respect your decision” Clap-clap-clap

  • ahoang

    clearly Miami’s weakness is the Atlantic Division.

    Serve up another lost to the Heat…….

  • thegloveinrapsuniform

    I got confused there for a moment. I had to scroll up to see if i was reading an article from a Heat forum, or a Raptors forum.

    • RaptorFan

      I think he’s really a Heat fan……Which makes sense, once that you think about it. lol
      Cleveland won 66 games and 61 games during Lebron’s last two years in Cleveland. Truth is – The Heat are probably a .500 team without Lebron. Make Lebron a scorer and we may have a chance. Let him put up 50 and stay home on the shooters. Give him some space and take away his drives. It didn’t work out well for San Antonio (but this isn’t the finals). Good luck!

      • thegloveinrapsuniform

        i think it wouldve been a bit better if some of the Raps recent series of “good things” were mentioned, like in the the past few games, Lowry and Demar are shooting 40% from deep. Or how Rudy was currently spotted shooting 500 shots at practice, acknowledging that he has a shooting problem, and averaging a full rebound and block compared to last season. or how their ast numbers have improved in the last game. i mean we’ve already heard how bad were the deals that colangelo made. how bad they stuck with bargnani until the bitter end. how bad they dealt with the chris bosh free agency. i dont think we need to hear/read it over and over again. besides, this is a pre-game preview right? might as well talk of the present and not the past.

        • Reed

          Soo your telling me Rudy’s gonna be taking more shots than avg this game? All hope is lost.

          Sarcasm aside I don’t understand the need to sugarcoat the Raptors troubles. Lowry and Derozan are shooting 40% from deep so what? How does that help against one of the best 3point shooting teams. We’ve heard all this crap about Rudy’s corrective eye surgery and Derozans 3point improvement all summer and it hasn’t helped in our record.

          • thegloveinrapsuniform

            Its a game day preview. Not an assessment of transactions that happened before this season started. At least give the fans a little bit of optimism with the team.

            • Tim W.

              Why do I need to give the fans a little optimism? I didn’t think that was the point of the articles. The fans get PLENTY of optimism from the announcers during the game whose job depends on them hyping the team up, no matter what.

              • thegloveinrapsuniform

                Like i said, its a gameday preview, as you called it. Not a “what have the raps done in the past” article. What im saying it call it fair. Throw in the good with the bad and the bad with the good.

        • Tim W.

          If you already know the “good things” then why does it matter I didn’t talk about them? I think the “good things” have been covered enough, so I thought a look at the opponent might make sense.

          One thing I have learned is that nothing I write will make you guys happy, so there’s no real point in trying.

          If you guys don’t want criticism of your team, then I suggest following one that wins a lot more.

          • thegloveinrapsuniform

            If you go back to the previous ones you wrote, i agreed with most of them. I dont always post negativity about your articles.

            I was merely suggesting that since its a preview for today’s game, a little bit of optimism and additional current developments with the current Raps team would have been nice. I did notice you pointed out that one of the keys to beating the team maybe going inside rather than shooting from the perimeter and i did not recognize that in my previous post.

            • Tim W.

              There were two parts to my article. The first was inspired by the anniversary of the players only meeting, and how things have been for each team since then, and the second part was a analysis of the game.

              The current developments of the team is that they aren’t very good. Creating false optimism to make fans feel good about cheering for them doesn’t interest me. What does interest me is making fans not settle for mediocrity and to demand excellence from their team. That’s the only thing that will chance the team’s circumstances.

              • thegloveinrapsuniform

                OMG seriously man, just listen to yourself. Creating false optimism? Nobody is saying theyre going to win 60 games due to improved 3 point shooting and a few more asts. What im saying is mention the negatives but point out the positives as well. everybody’s been calling for demar’s 3 point shooting to improve and not he’s showing signs of improvement. Mention the good with the bad and the bad with the good. show a little bit of current state like what chisolm does.

                • Tim W.

                  I am a different writer than Tim Chisolm and we have different styles.

                  The amount of good I write about is a direct reflection of the amount of good I see from the team. Take that as you will.

                  As I said, there are some fans that simply want fluff pieces talking about all the good things about the team. I don’t write those articles. I write what I see. Not what I want to see.

                • thegloveinrapsuniform

                  so then im right to say that the improvement in asts, the improvement in 3 point shooting is something that is clearly there for you to see, actually, clear enough that everybody can see, but since you did not mention them then its probably something that you dont want to see? correct?

                  then youre exactly the same as the type of fans you despise and always rile about. you point out fans who give the team too much hope by pointing only the positives, while you on the other hand discredit the team by only dwelling on the negatives.

                • Tim W.

                  I point out what I feel needs being pointed out. If you don’t like it, fine. I don’t see the point of bringing it up every single time.

                • FLUXLAND

                  “Listen to yourself”… that’s rich.

                  5th year player is “showing signs of improvement”….”ast numbers have improved in the last two games” …” the past 2 games, thats not sugar coating anything”….”the Raps having the chance to beat the Heat due to the improved play of late.”

                  Just because you live game to to game and support mediocrity, doesn’t mean anyone else has to share you cup of tea. There are plenty of places where you can read how amazing this team is and how bright the future is, why are you not there? Or are you here fighting the good fight for the “real fans”?

                  And if you are such an expert on how one should write about a team they happen to follow, why don’t you have your own blog? Put your money where you mouth is, Champ. Show us how it’s done.


                • thegloveinrapsuniform

                  relax. all im saying is if youre willing to point out the bad, point out the good as well.

                  nobody’s saying that the slight improvement they show in the past few games will lead to a title.

                  but give credit where credit is due. its funny that people like you and team keep pointing out the negatives but are blind to the positives. again, mentioning the positives doesnt mean that fans are assuming that this team with win a title. but dont dwell on the negative all the time. specially when fans have heard this time and time and time again.

      • Tim W.

        It’s a pre-game writeup against the Heat, so I thought talking about the Heat made sense.

  • RaptorFan

    “The Heat have just three losses, so far and they were against Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Boston. What do those teams have in common besides they all suck, right now? I have no clue.”
    UMMM….They’re all in the Atlantic Division! :) As it stands, we match up well against the heat. The only tiny – itsy-bitsy difference is that they have Lebron and we have Rudy.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Rudy is bizzaro LeBron

  • nyStef

    The Champ Is Here. (I liked that.)

  • thegloveinrapsuniform
  • Tanks-a-lot

    It’s Black Hole Friday!

    Who’s not sharing the rock? Tom Haberstroh dishes on the biggest ball hogs in the NBA this season.

  • tmk

    I don’t comment much but I do read articles here and visit often. I didn’t check the author for this post but as I made my way through it I’m like, “This sounds a lot like something Tim W. would write.” Lo and behold, I scroll up and see it is by him. Dude, you’re so frign depressing with your pessimism and gloom and doom.

    Don’t get me wrong, I tend to share a lot of your views, but do you have to constantly harp on the same negativity and always look for the worst possible perspective? I’m a sports fan because I like the fun and excitement it brings, not so I can depress myself. Cheer up dude.

    • Tim W.

      Thankfully, my mood is not affected in the least by how well the basketball team I cheer for does. If it is, then that’s probably a problem.

      The Raptors are not a very good team, and I don’t see the point in sugar-coating it. If there’s reason to be optimistic about the team, I will be.

      • thegloveinrapsuniform

        Mentioning a few good points about the current season is not sugar coating anything.

        If youre saying “Well yeah Rudy’s shooting at 37% this season, probably because he still has not recovered from eye surgery.” Thats sugar coating. But when you’re pointing out FACTS like Demar and Lowry shooting 40% from 3, asts improvement from 10 to 22 then 18 the past 2 games, thats not sugar coating anything, but merely mentioning facts. I think you want us to get more excited that the Heat are coming rather than being optimistic about the Raps having the chance to beat the Heat due to the improved play of late.

        • Tim W.

          The current NBA Champions are playing in Toronto. They have three and possibly four Hall of Famers, including one of the best players of all time. I’d say that reason enough to get excited about the game.

          My writeups aren’t intended to help motivate the team or the fans. They’re intended to inform and entertain. And possibly create discussion.

          • thegloveinrapsuniform

            I think you got this perspective thing all wrong. You get excited because YOUR team is playing the defending champs. Not because the champs are playing. I’m excited about the game because i know that teams usually give more effort when playing elite teams, and specifically because im expecting the team i follow, the Toronto Raptors, will give extra effort to beat the Heat.

            • Tim W.

              If you could just send me a detailed breakdown about how all Raptor fans are supposed to feel and behave, that would be great. Then I can post it and we can all act accordingly.

              • thegloveinrapsuniform

                hahahaha how come your arguments always end in the exact same words? Like you always ask us to show you this, show you that.

                None of the feelings matter here, you said it yourself, youre not manic depressive. So be fair, write the good with the bad and the bad with the good. Be objective. Thats all i ask.

                • Tim W.

                  I AM being objective. The team is poorly coached, badly constructed and can’t win in a division that your local rec league might win a game or two in.

                  If I’m watching the Titanic go down, I’m not going to look the positives to talk about. I’m going to describe the horror as I see it.

                  The positives for this team is that it still has a few good assets to trade and they’re still in good position to tank. Anything else is just lipstick on a pig.

                • thegloveinrapsuniform

                  When you debate with somebody, its like youre stuck in a balloon. Everytime you push, the balloon expands.

                  We were not talking about whats going to happen till the end of the season here Tim. We’re talking about what they have done this season, till gameday. Isnt that what you were supposed to write about? Gameday? All i was asking was talk about what has been happening this season leading to game day. sure, point out gay’s miserable shooting %, amir’s struggles the past few games, lack of ball movement, etc etc. but you also need to talk about the improved 3 pt shooting, the hustle of Hansborough, or eventhough theyre strugging on offense (19th) in the league, theyre doing pretty good defensively (9th), things that can help them keep up with the Heat.

                  But hey, youre the writer here, so i guess you should know better.

      • Dagger

        “. . . my mood is not affected in the least by how well the basketball team I cheer for does.”

        Then why cheer? Doesn’t cheering for something require an emotional connection? Ultimately, sports has little practical value: it is a (necessary) refuge for our irrational and perhaps childish selves. I think it’s okay to get a little emotionally invested in a game and a team, even if you write about this stuff for a blog.

        • Tim W.


          • Quirk

            Tim, I’ve always like your writing, going way back to your forum days. Pro Tip: You do need to respond to every comment.

            • Quirk

              Um, I meant you do *not* need to respond to every comment.

            • Tim W.

              Thanks. And ya, I know. My problem is I actually enjoy the interaction with the readers. I just need to avoid certain ones better.

              • Dagger

                To clarify: I responded to your sentence not to try and correct you, but to see if you had an interesting explanation for a surprising statement. I like your sober, well-reasoned articles, and I appreciate how much work you put into this site. However, it might be better to ignore some comments than to respond with the kind of condescension that could drive people away.

  • Tee

    “Raptor fans are a bitter, vindictive bunch who can’t let things go.”

    Are you admitting that you are bitter and vindictive?

    • Tim W.

      I am not what I would consider a typical Raptor fan because I am neither manic-depressive or take anything players do personally.

      • thegloveinrapsuniform

        yet when you keep going back to failed transactions, the BC era, bargnani, you dont think youre manic depressive when it comes to this team. interesting.

        • Tim W.

          Keep going back? I mentioned it in one article. And I think it’s probably only the second time I’ve mentioned Bargnani or Colangelo since they left.

          I think it’s incredibly ironic that you and Raptorfan seem to focus only on the negative things I say and then accuse me of being negative. You guys are NEVER happy about hardly any of the articles unless they effusively praise the players and organization. Talk about negative.

          • thegloveinrapsuniform

            how easy we forget the things we dont want to remember.

            check the comment by TMK. i rest my case.

            • Tim W.

              No. I think the team needs a new roster. I may come off like a nagging wife. But one that seems to be right a lot.