At 1-2, what have the Raptors learned about their lineups?

Toronto Raptors fall behind big early against the Heat before storming back and falling short. What should we take away?

The Toronto Raptors just can't play a normal game of basketball against the Miami Heat. They started out trying their best to play a casual, lackadaisical game of hoops, but it was not to be. Midway through the third quarter, Christian Koloko snatched an offensive rebound and was pushed to the ground by Miami's Caleb Martin. Martin glowered over Koloko, who stood up quickly. Martin responded by tackling the rookie to the ground, and both players received ejected for their efforts. From that point forward, the game became extremely physical. Another ho-hum entry into Toronto's bizarre catalogue of games against the Heat.

Unlike the fight, one of the more expectable components of Toronto's performance was the output of its starting group. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the fivesome of Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent jr., O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, and Pascal Siakam won its 15 minutes by a marvelous 13 points. They shot 5-of-8 from deep and altogether stymied the Cavaliers on the defensive end, forcing turnovers and limiting Cleveland's quirky guards from finding too many seams.

Then against the Brooklyn Nets, even though four of Toronto's five starters finished with a positive plus-minus, (Trent was the lone exception), the group lost its 21 minutes by five points. The inability of any non-VanVleet to supplement Siakam's scoring, combined with a real change in its defensive attention to detail, made the fivesome look completely different. Unfortunately, they have looked pedestrian all too often.

Which brings us to the job of Toronto's starters against the Heat.

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