The Toronto Raptors’ came the closest they have to beating the Miami Heat since they formed the big three last week. It was a team effort with the Raptors having 7 players scoring in double figures but it was not enough to combat D-Wade’s 35 and a triple double of Lebron James with 31 points 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
One thing that will likely be different is who is guarding Lebron in this one. The Raptors have added Rudy Gay and his debut vs. the Clippers can only be considered a smashing success. That said, it was a Clippers team without Chris Paul. Heat should have everyone on hand including Chris Bosh who was only a minor factor in the last match-up.
Some positives from the Gay debut were the improved play of DeMar DeRozan who was thrilled to find all this space on the floor playing along side. The one thing Dwane Casey would stress is the defense that was on point against the Clippers.
Case you wondered, Jose Calderon had 17 points and only 3 assists and Ed Davis had 13 points and 5 rebounds in the 123-116 overtime loss. Could a guy like Rudy Gay produce those numbers on his own? On a good day he just might.
Keep a couple other things in mind. The Heat are likely a tad ticked off they almost lost to the Raptors in Miami. Also Lebron James is pissed that this game is going to cause him to miss the Super Bowl. You might have wanted to root for Dallas Cowboys to make the big game and by indication James might have skipped his team flight and maybe walked across the street to Real Sports to watch the game.
It is the Ravens and Niners. For me I am rooting for the Ravens as Ray Lewis is set to retire win or lose.
Also I am sure you are aware Lebron James career high is against the Raptors and it actually came in a loss as part of the Cavs. Before you total hate on all things Miami keep in mind the Jays overall could not have been possible without the Miami Marlins. It makes you wonder with these things being floated about James going back to Cleveland if the Miami Thrice is only a short term show. While Lebron James can be a show wherever he chooses to go that can’t be said for Chris Bosh. Oh that thing called karma can be a really pain in the butt.
But we still have at least a few more years of this to go minimum. Raptors will continue to search for answers in this one-sided beat down and maybe Rudy Gay can be helpful.