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Quick Reaction: Raptors 116, Heat 89 – Raptors Advance to East Finals

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A new level of success for the franchise calls for overly positive grades.  Bring on Cleveland!


Miami 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
116 Toronto
P. Patterson 37 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-4 3FG | 7-7 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | — +/-Not great early. Battled on the boards but was beat too often, allowed Josh McRoberts to get going with some fairly easy baskets, and committed a pathetic foul on Dragic while pretending to chase him down on the break. But he also won some key battles for rebounds, including a big and-1 with 3:16 left in the first half to put Toronto up 7 and steal some momentum from seven time all-star Joe Johnson (who I will never not be afraid of).

The second half we got a great Patterson. Outside of his shot not falling, he found lots of ways to impact the game in a lot. Big boards, good passes, and tough defence. You could feel his energy.

D. Carroll 34 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 3FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | — +/-Drew fouls on both Dragic and Wade by attacking off the dribble, and generally did well at keeping with Wade’s herky-jerky dribbles. Sadly, he was the one guarding Joe Johnson when he got hot…bit of a mixed bag, which was the one blemish on his otherwise solid performance. His transition threes were big for Toronto.

B. Biyombo 41 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 5-12 FT | 16 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | — +/-Is Biyombo the greatest Raptor of all time?? Incredible performance from the 30 23 year old. Huge blocks, challenging everything at the bucket, big rebounds, and a couple huge dunks. Outside of Lowry, he is the biggest reason the Raptors won this game. He has been a nearly perfect back-up centre this year, and a great compliment/change of pace to Jonas.

And he drove McRoberts to violence. Love it. Nobody punks, Biyombo!!

K. Lowry 42 MIN | 11-20 FG | 5-7 3FG | 8-11 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 35 PTS | — +/-He was okay in the first half, but KLOE showed up in the third quarter. He asserted himself as the best player in the game, and him playing like this is the solution to the regular season Raptors arriving in the post-season. Whenever the Raptors needed it, Lowry was there.

D. DeRozan 35 MIN | 12-29 FG | 0-1 3FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 28 PTS | — +/-DeMar had horrendous shot selection far too often (pretty routine, really…) leading to several Miami buckets on the other end, whether by fast break or taking advantage of mismatches in transition. At half he was 4-of-17 shooting. 17 shots to get 15 points!! And no first half assists. Far too focused on his own scoring, rather than on the success of the team…which feels far different than how he succeeded all season.

Got better as the game went on, so I’m not sure how to properly weigh his performance.

J. Johnson 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | — +/-Mood: Utilized at the end.

J. Thompson 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | — +/-Great energy in his few minutes, and his best of the playoffs so far. Fought on the glass, and forced a very tough McRoberts’ shot at the end of the shot clock.

T. Ross 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-4 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | — +/-Ross gets a good grade if only for the time he stepped in and stole the ball from Wade in the open court. His shooting was just a bonus, let alone following it up with a block on Miami’s next possession. He seemed locked in pretty much all night, and Ross is such a different player when he is awake.

L. Nogueira 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | — +/-We got a Bebe alley-oop dunk!!!! I wish I could give an A+++

C. Joseph 19 MIN | 0-8 FG | 0-1 3FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | — +/-Very little contribution on the stat sheet, but he didn’t let Dragic go off like in game 6. Solid effort though to fight through screens and prevent lane penetration, but still not the Cory Joseph performance that we have come to expect.

D. Wright 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | — +/-The fact the Delon played means something either really good or really bad…it was really good today. Let the record show, Delon Wright was on the court the first time the Raptors secured a spot in the conference finals.

N. Powell 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | — +/-Only got three minutes tonight, but the Raptors wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for him in round one.

Dwane Casey
Outside of garbage time he kept the rotation to a tight 8, and would have been 7 if not for a few minute stretch from Jason Thompson. Great line-up decision, and schemed to prevent the open lane drives that doomed the Raptors in game 6. Still wish he would have reigned in DeMar a bit, but as the first coach to lead the Raptors to the Conference Finals, he gets an A. The Raptors bounced back from an embarrassing game 6 to take the series decisively, and are now 6-0 coming off of a loss in the playoffs.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors are off to the Eastern Conference Finals. If you’ve made it this far you’ve already read those words a number of times. I’ve had to type if repeatedly in order to remind myself that it’s real. The Raptors are a final four team, and have the chance to do more…just as we all had hoped when the season started. It’s just beautiful!
  2. Not only are the Raptors a final four team, but they have a lottery pick this summer (thanks, NY!).
  3. Great crowd, but I wonder when fans (myself included) in Toronto will stop getting panicked when the opposition goes on a mini-run. Does this season’s success help curb this problem? Will this only go away after a championship? Are we perpetually scarred?
  4. I never read flagrant situations correctly, but McRoberts should have been ejected. You could see that play building, and knew that he was about to hit someone. Dirty play. I was shocked to not see him walking to the locker room.
  5. Hey everyone…THE RAPTORS ARE GOING TO THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS!!! Bring on Cleveland!

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