Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Heat 115, Raptors 125

It looked like ‘JV’ got a haircut at half-time. Did anyone else notice that? 17-4. Anyone who doesn’t like the teams/things I like is a loser.

Miami 115 Final
Box Score
125 Toronto

K. Leonard36 MIN, 29 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 8-20 FG, 3-8 3FG, 10-12 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 23 +/-

A mid-range assassin. If there’s one part of his game that looks comfortable no matter what night, it’s this. One of his most prolific games from downtown this year. Even with the cold second half, the offensive game seems to be coming around in a big way.

P. Siakam31 MIN, 21 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 8-9 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 25 +/-

So uniquely brilliant. The Heat squad didn’t know how to defend him. The diminutive but plucky guards couldn’t handle his lengthy physicality, and the big men had no recourse to deal with his speed. Hit a no hesitation triple which speaks volumes to his confidence right now, and his growing game. Prime Scottie Pippen could be defending Siakam and I would scream for him to put him in the spin cycle.

J. Valanciunas24 MIN, 17 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 8-10 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 24 +/-

Loved his game tonight. Limited Whiteside all night, and was efficient and aggressive getting his own offense. There wasn’t an answer for him with Lowry’s passing so on point, and Valanciunas’ willingness to run into space. He deserves love for this one.

D. Green29 MIN, 4 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-6 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 19 +/-

Aggressive guarding the 3-point line, and diligent bouncing around screens from the Heat big men. Freezing cold shooting against the Heat’s gritty players. Not his best.

K. Lowry35 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 10 AST, 0 STL, 5-12 FG, 2-9 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 19 +/-

The jumper was amiss, but he was plenty creative in the pick n’ roll. Lots of clever plays on defense, covering up on missed rotations. At his most limited, he’s still a master at game-managing.

S. Ibaka24 MIN, 8 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -14 +/-

His first bad game of the season? Valanciunas got the start tonight and he was part of the unit that buried the Heat. Ibaka was of course capable, but it was a quiet game which was perfectly fine. Had a highlight block on Winslow. Get some rest big fella.

F. VanVleet19 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 4-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -7 +/-

With most everyone ahead of him on the depth chart cooking, he sat back and enjoyed the ride. Happy to help supply the hot-hand. When the game obliged him to score, he answered amicably. Solid game.

O. Anunoby16 MIN, 4 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -15 +/-

Still using these games to extend and grow his offensive repertoire. We’re seeing more adventurous ball-handling from him. Solid off the bench, and I’m sure all of us would like to see him playing with Leonard and Lowry more often.

C. Miles13 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-7 FG, 2-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -15 +/-

Best game in some time, even if he got a little trigger-happy in the 3rd quarter. It came on the heels of his self-deprecating tweet. It’s like he knows the exact route to the heart of blog-boys. If he’s hitting from downtown, we’ve all got love for him.

D. Wright13 MIN, 10 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

Good night for Wright. Hoping that the average game for him starts looking like this. Still showcasing a really good touch on spot-up threes. The assists will come around as the bench gels, but I liked his game tonight.

Nick Nurse

Giving the starting nod to Valanciunas was the first of many good decisions by Nurse tonight. You can tell he desperately wants the bench to run the game out, but when called upon I like the staggered line-ups he introduces.

Things We Saw

  1. Dwyane Wade is one of the best players of the past 15 years. Longevity aside, the peak of his career is rivalled by few players. Fun game to watch him turn back the clock.
  2. More 3-point attempts from Leonard tonight. Even though he had a couple bad misses, you could see he knew he had to put up the shots. If he can keep up his willingness to shoot from downtown, the offense grows exponentially.
  3. Not counting a heave from half-court, is that Lowry’s first official 3-pointer from the half-court logo? That shot was nuts. Call me crazy, but I feel a Lowry hot-streak coming on…
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