The (5-1) Toronto Raptors will be visiting the American Airlines Arena on Sunday night to play their 6th game of the young season against the (3-3) Miami Heat. Last year the Toronto Raptors won the season series against the Miami Heat 2-1 last season and was also the first time in which the Raptors beat the Heat since Chris Bosh left the team in free agency to sign with the Miami Heat. That created the big three we all remember with LeBron James and Dwyane wade who won two championships together and were in the finals for four consecutive years in a row representing the Eastern Conference.
The last time these two teams played the Raptors won in Miami and essentially eliminated the Heat from playoff contention. The Toronto Raptors are coming off their first loss of the season against the Orlando Magic on Friday night who came through with a 92-87 win. This was the Orlando magic’s second victory of the season after coming short in some tough games played early. The Raptors scoring leader on Friday night was former all-star Demar Derozan who scored a team high 23 points on 7 for 15 field goals. Another player who had a huge impact on this game was backup point guard and Canadian native Cory Joseph; he scored 19 points and played 29 minutes off the bench.
It may be early in the season but Cory Joseph is defiantly one of few players in contention for 6 man of the year, his court vision and play making has been truly fantastic. There is an argument that Cory Joseph also may be the best backup point guard the raptors have produced in quite some time (sorry Jose Calderon). As mentioned earlier this was the Toronto Raptors first loss of the 2015/16 season after going 5-0 the best start of the season the raptors have ever experienced in their 21 years of existence. Meanwhile the Miami Heat are coming off a loss on Friday night against the Indiana Pacers Chris Bosh was the scoring leader on Friday nigh notching 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The Miami Heat believe they can make some noise this season and finish with a good enough record to make it into the playoffs and they can do so if they maintain good play and healthy key players. The Miami Heat hope they can stay healthy consistently throughout the season, last year was an injury plagued season for the heat with Chris Bosh missing time for suffering a serious life threatening blood clot, so it is good to see him healthy and back playing at a high level this season.
The Toronto Raptors reported earlier today that small forward DeMarre Carroll is questionable for Sunday’s game with plantar fasciitis. Apparently Carroll has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for 10 days now and according to Carroll himself he’s been playing 70 percent and is thinking about sitting out because he feels as if he is hurting his team with his play. That may be the reason why he did not have a good game against the Magic on Friday night. As for the Heat Gerald Green is questionable (illness) and Mario Chalmers (knee) for Sundays game.
This game will be a tough one for the Toronto Raptors, they do not want to drop two in a row and want to maintain a high level of play and get back to their winning ways. Defense again will be key in this game, the Raptors currently rank top 10 in defensive and offensive efficiency. The Raptors also need to start the game with a strong offensive showing unlike what they displayed the previous game, they cant be playing catch up against the Heat who have various players that can score including Wade and Bosh. Look for the game to be on at 6:00 EST on Sunday night on TSN 1 and the Fan 590 (radio).
Projected starting lineup for the Toronto Raptors:
PG- Kyle Lowry
SG- DeMar DeRozan
SF- Terrance Ross
PF- Luis Scola
C- Jonas Valancinus
Projected starting lineup for the Miami Heat:
PG- Goran Dragic
SG- Dwyane Wade
SF- Luol Deng
PF- Chris Bosh
C- Hassan Whiteside