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Gameday: Heat @ Raptors, November 16

Our Beloved Patron Saint, Kyle Lowry, graces our presence in Toronto and he's bringing them loathsome Heat boys with him.

Woo boy, did we need that Detroit win.

You know you’re getting a bit desperate when you look at Dalano Banton like you’re Aragorn seeing Gandalf the White crest the hill at Helm’s Deep.

Not only would it have been miserable welcoming the Miami Heat on a 4-game skid, it would have been a shame to record L-L-L to three of the lesser teams in the League. Respect to the Pacers and Thunder though. They’re damn frisky.

The win against Detroit was also very atraditional for Toronto. We’re well accustomed to relying on our primary guys to do the heavy lifting. The Raptors, on Monday, were both undermanned and underwhelmed by its remaining healthy starters. O.G. played wonderfully, but struggled shooting and Scottie did not have his best outing. Despite all that, Toronto pulled it out.

LET THIS BE A LESSON, MONSIEUR NICHOLAS. Play the bench!

Maybe it was a fluke having Jeff Dowtin, Malachi Flynn, Juancho Hernangomez (to some degree), and Dalano Banton (especially!) all play extremely well at the exact same time. Maybe.

It doesn’t matter. This early in the season we need these guys to get some confidence and some reps under their legs (I talk about this issue, specifically, in my Five Things [#2]). No team is healthy forever; Depth is vital. We’re seeing what happens when guys have time to screw up and know they’re not about to get yanked: they play better! Let’s hope to see more against Miami.

Uhh yes, Miami.

Round 3, baby.

I’m torn.

On the one hand, we get to see Papa Lowry back in Toronto 🧡🧡🧡🧡.

On the other hand, we get to deliver an inhospitable welcome to Toronto’s newest hated Miami Heat guard 🤬🤬🤬🤬. Just ask Goran Dragić how long that can last for.

Or don’t.

If you don’t recall. And maybe you don’t because it’s just me that holds miniscule grudges (DON’T CROSS ME, BRO), but Herro and Achiuwa had a nice little “you’re small, no, you’re small” back-and-forth on separate And-One plays. (UPDATE: Tyler Herro is out. We’ll have to boo him when he daps Drake or something – two birds one stone).

There was also, of course, the Cody Martin/Christian Koloko incident – Martin’s second transgression against the Raptors after breaking hoops code by sending Scottie into the stands on a dangerously-challenged fast break. Martin’s shown humility, so he’s less of a collective enemy.

These two teams RUMBLE. They also GRIND. In two games this year, the Toronto and Miami have averaged 103.5 and 106 points per game, respectively. That would be good enough for first and second in opponent points allowed this year.

That makes for some rather ugly, but competitive, and extremely exciting basketball.

Since the two-game split with Toronto, Miami’s 6-4 including a current three-game win streak. In that time, Miami’s 7th in point differential with a 5th rated offence. Bam has found his way averaging 21 points, 3 assists and 3 turnovers in those ten games on 55% shooting (in the first 4 games, Bam averaged 14 points, 3 assists and 4 turnovers on 46%). As has Kyle, with 14 points and 7 assists on 44% shooting (it was an icky 11 and 5 on 29% in the games prior).

However, Miami’s defence has struggled in those 10 games. They’re 17th in defensive rating and give up a tonne of shots at the rim and allow a high percentage. Toronto’s getting to the rim, they’re just not all that good at finishing once there. So, we’ll see.

The Raptors may be extremely depleted again. We might need some more messianic wizardry to get through this one.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7:30 pm EST | TV: Sportsnet One | Radio: TSN 1050

Raptors Lineup

Latest Update:

PG: Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn

SG: Jeff Dowtin Jr.

SF: O.G. Anunoby, Justin Champagnie

PF: Scottie Barnes, Thaddeus Young, Juancho Hernangomez

C: Christian Koloko, Chris Boucher

Heat Lineup

Latest Update:

PG: Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent

SG: Max Strus, Dru Smith

SF: Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson, Jamal Cain

PF: Jimmy Butler, Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic

C: Bam Adebayo

The Line

Moneyline: MIA -121; TOR +100

Spread: Miami is favoured by 1.5 points.

Over/Under: 215.

Injury list makes this tough. This is an absolute stay away. Miami at -121 is pretty good considering. If I were to bet against my team, which I don’t, I’d think about parlaying MIA moneyline and the Under…(?)

Bet wisely, friends.

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