Raptors lose winnable game against the defending champs on the back of missed free-throws. Eat your heart out.

Miami Heat 90 FinalRecap | Box Score 83 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -14Let’s hope he’s still struggling with the flu because he was struggling with the whole “playing basketball” thing tonight. Benched in favor of Hansbrough, and for once, it was actually the right move.
Rudy Gay, SF 40 MIN | 9-21 FG | 2-7 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 21 PTS | -2Best game from Gay in a while. Solid rebounding (he was mostly used as the small-ball four), some much needed scoring and a very nice weak-side block on the Birdman. Yeah, he still took a bunch of bad shots, including one where he completely ignored a wide-open Ross in the corner to shoot an ill-advised iso-long-two, but hey, I’m not expecting much from Gay at this point. The missed free throws hurt (running theme). Oh, and your answer to the most important question of all?
Jonas Valanciunas, C 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -16You know it’s bad when even the opposing commentating crew noticed that Valanciunas is “a missing man in the Raptors’ offense”. Even they have figured it out, and the Heat has played the Raptors twice. Meh game from Jonas. Got open, demanded the ball, and rarely saw the ball end up in his hands. Just another depressing day at the office for the young Lithuanian.
Kyle Lowry, PG 43 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 7 TO | 15 PTS | -2The 7 turnovers stick out, and some of them were really ugly (mostly trying to force bad passes), but his threes from the left wing were huge. Worked tremendously hard on defense as well. I’m glad to see that Lowry has put the finger injury behind him because he is playing very well.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 44 MIN | 10-20 FG | 3-7 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 25 PTS | -14Hit some really tough shots in the first. Cooled off as the game went on, but this was a pretty impressive performance from Demar. He was schooled a bunch of times by Wade, but that will happen to the best of shooting guards. He hurt a finger on his shooting hand which likely impacted his free-throw shooting. He missed some key FT’s in the fourth. Promising couple of games from Derozan.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 25 MIN | 0-2 FG | 8-12 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +13HE. WORKED. SO. HARD. I. LOVE. THIS. MAN. (more on him in the recap tomorrow)
Landry Fields, SF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5He played?
Quincy Acy, SF 4 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -2He played?
Steve Novak, SF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +12He did play. He just wasn’t very effective. The Heat ran him off the three-point line a lot and the lack of ball-movement in the Raptors offense didn’t afford him very many good looks. Hey, he’s like a wrench; just because the carpenter is an idiot, doesn’t mean that the wrench is useless. Some decent defense tonight.
Dwight Buycks, PG 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -5He played?
Terrence Ross, SG 23 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0Played for almost the entirety of the fourth, and rightfully so. He played some excellent defense on Dwyane Wade, using his superior athleticism and quickness to stay in front of Wade and forcing him into some tough shots. Didn’t score, but this was a pretty promising development for the young swingman.
Dwane Casey
I slag Dwane Casey’s coaching all the time, so it’s not like I’m some sort of apologist for the man or anything, but he coached a good game today. He recognized that Amir and Jonas didn’t have it tonight, so he went with his most effective unit (Hansbrough + smalls) for the majority of the third and fourth. He also drew up a very nice play coming out of a timeout for Hansbrough in the last two minutes of the fourth that resulted in free throws. It’s not his job to sink free-throws.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Demar tried to kill Bosh with a dunk attempt in the fourth. Unfortunately, Bosh fouled him and he missed both free throws, but had Demar completed that dunk. the ACC might have exploded.
  2. #HotSprotsTake: Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are very good basketball players. 49 points on 19/33 shooting with a bunch of assists and rebounds is the norm for these two. At one point in the third, Lebron just started taking random jumpers because he can. These dudes can ball.
  3. The Raptors lost this game on the back of missed free-throws. The Raptors hit 19 of 32 free throws!!! This game was a 4-5 point game for much of the fourth and the Raptors had many chances to tie the game. They shot 2/10 in the fourth. Sigh…
  4. One more time for Ross and Hansbrough. Their performances tonight exemplified why the boxscore is sometimes insufficient – it lacks a column for effort.
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