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Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Heat 112, Raptors 115

Miami 112 Final
Box Score
115 Toronto

B+
S. Ibaka26 MIN, 14 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, 0-1 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

A big lack of energy from Serge (pun!) for the first half, but got going late in the second quarter. At one point he mistimed an open rebound so badly he caught it after his feet landed on the court. But the second half was different. Hustling and battling for rebounds, blowing by a helpless Winslow who was forced to foul, and hitting open jumpers to as the pressure release valve on the offence. I’ll take it.

C-
O. Anunoby13 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -4 +/-

In the first few minutes alone he drained two triples and recovered three loose balls through hustle alone. Guarding Dragic was a nice challenge for him, as the Raptors are continually putting him in position to guard the opponent’s top offensive options. While he had some successful moments in this regard, Dragic and Whiteside caught him on a bunch of screens to make the Raptors defence scramble.

Miami happily hid Dragic on OG throughout the night. While line-ups are just better with OG in them, the Raptors will need him to start punishing bad defenders

Giving OG such a low great hurts my heart…

C
J. Valanciunas30 MIN, 6 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -1 +/-

This wasn’t the JV we’ve come to know and love over the last two months. Actually did quite well challenging Dragic floaters early, and contained the larger bodied Heat players in the post, but was just average overall. Needed more from him on the boards, but he grabbed a key late ones.

A-
K. Lowry33 MIN, 22 PTS, 4 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 8-17 FG, 4-8 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Clearly frustrated early on with some physical play at the rim, hitting the stanchion after a few difficult lay-ups, but was the Raptors best player in the first quarter. Attacked the rim, hit a few tough shots, and looked at every opportunity to get teammates involves. The Heat (I refuse to capitalize the whole word) came out ready to play, and if not for Lowry’s energy Miami could have built a sizeable lead.

Lowry even hit a buzzer beating triple to end the first half, in which he did a two-handed throw over his head. The man was hot!

Kyle Lowry
————–
Everything

A-
D. DeRozan35 MIN, 27 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 11-25 FG, 1-7 3FG, 4-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 10 +/-

I looked at the scoreboard midway through the third quarter thinking that DeMar likely had 8 points on the night. He had 17. It was an unassuming scoring game from DeMar until that point. It felt like last year when he and Lowry would take turns, and I’ve become too accustomed to his facilitating. Wasn’t there for most of the night, but man did he get it going late.

Had 19 points in the third quarter alone and finished it with a big block on Bam Adebayo (great name!), followed with a put-back dunk on the other end. Wow.

A-
F. VanVleet23 MIN, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

He gets to the bucket so easily off the dribble, and every time it still feels like he is about to be blocked. How does someone his height making finishing at the rim look so easily? The bench looked strangely slow tonight, but Fred brought his regular effort the entire night.

B-
D. Wright21 MIN, 10 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 4-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Very weird to see Delon play so…slowly? Used his length well enough in passing lanes, but was missing the assertiveness that is a main aspect of his game. Was mostly back to his regular self when it was closing time in the fourth quarter and hit two much needed three pointers.

C
P. Siakam19 MIN, 5 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

It’s surprisingly fun to watch Siakam grow as a ball-handler, as they continue to challenge him to expand his game. Not always pretty, but the success rate is higher than I would have expected initially. Feels like he is still downloading his basketball skills, and it pauses/skips between 70-80 percent. He can beat the entire Heat team down the floor, time his jump perfectly, use soft hands to catch the ball, only to rim out the lay-up. That happened twice…

C+
J. Poeltl18 MIN, 4 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 4 +/-

His passing remains underrated. He is the Raptors best passing big (yes, Bebe is great, but I’m talking about players who get minutes), and does not touch the ball enough. Better than his stats tonight showed. Poeltl reads offensive rebounds so well, which makes it all the more confusing that he struggles with defensive rebounds.

D+
C. Miles15 MIN, 11 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-11 FG, 2-10 3FG, 3-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

I wish I was as confident at anything as CJ is at letting the shots fly. 0-for-4 from three to start the game, but hit one from a good 5 feet beyond the top of the arc to end the first quarter. When he’s hot it is such a beautiful sight, but he just couldn’t find the rhythm tonight.

B-
N. Powell7 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

I hate his Go Daddy commercial so much, but that isn’t exactly a note on him from tonight. He was a plus in his 7 minutes without scoring, but tough to impress much as the 11th man.

C+
Dwane Casey

Raptors played most of the night on cruise control, just waiting till they needed to step on the gas. They did so in the third quarter, only to let up late. This was not the smoothest of games, and Casey holds some responsibility for the effort level.

Things We Saw

  1. I’m all for DeMar taking three pointers. It has expanded his game and helps the team so much for him to even just be average from long distance. But he needs to be more aware of where his feet are. In the first quarter alone he left two points on the table because of the length of his toenails. He backs-up half an inch and the lead grows.
  2. Mood: Utilized. James Johnson was very good tonight.
  3. Tyler Johnson is Mose Schrute. It’s the only explanation for that hair/beard.
  4. The Miami Vice jerseys for the Heat are beautiful on any close-up, but surprisingly don’t jump to me during regular action. Despite that, easily one of the best uniforms in the association.

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