Mar 29, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) and center Chris Bosh (1) enjoy a moment on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Miami won 88-67. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors (42-31) at Miami HEAT (50-22): 3 keys to breaking a bad streak

Mar 24, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Greg Oden (20) fouls Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright (1) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 93-91. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


The Toronto Raptors have had a miserable time playing the Miami HEAT over the past 4 years. Our guys have lost the past 14 games against this team, including 3 this season. There are many reasons Miami why is the two-time defending NBA champion, one of them being their ability to dominate weak teams, which Toronto has been – but not anymore.

Toronto Raptors @ Miami Heat tickets

Miami enjoys the services of the game’s best player, LeBron James, who combines power, speed, shooting touch and defense to a degree I’ve never seen in one player. Slowing him down will likely be Terrence Ross’s assignment. Greg Oden, a name which turns the stomach of every Portland Trail Blazer fan [20-second timeout: Oden was selected #1 in the 2007 NCAA draft, but his time in Oregon was ruined by knee injuries and surgery. He was waived in 2012. Portland's other option? Kevin Durant, selected #2 by OKC, and a monster ever since.] will start his sixth game at center. I have no idea what to expect from him, so all I can say is he’s very large and may yet prove to be an NBA player if his body doesn’t fail him again. Dwayne Wade, like Durant, has been a force since he entered the league, and can still dazzle. He’s struggled with injuries, and coach Erik Spoelstra doles out his minutes carefully. The HEAT will start a power forward named Chris Bosh, who has trouble spelling “loyalty” but no difficulty with “selfishness”. Mario Chalmers at the point is happy to distribute the ball and defend, though he will shoot (and quite well) if left open.

Miami bench players are probably better than the starters for half a dozen teams. Ray Allen is the best 3-point shooter of all time, Shane Battier epitomizes “glue guy”, Chris (Birdman) Andersen will drive opponents crazy under the basket, their backup guards are competent – the rich get richer.

The HEAT have lost only 6 home games this season. If the Raps want to make it 7, they will need to:

  • make someone other than LeBron beat us. King James can be a major problem when he decides to distribute the ball, so TRoss will need to stay active to disrupt passes.
  • crash the boards. Miami isn’t “minus” in very many statistical categories, but they do lose the rebounding battle consistently. If we can make them one-&-done, we can short-circuit their offense.
  • get their big men in foul difficulty. DeMar DeRozan, hie thee to the basket!

I think this game will go down to the final buzzer, so why not choose the Raps winning a 99-97 thriller?

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