Ah yes, home sweet home. After seven of eight out west, the Raptors are back at the ACC tonight to face Dwyane Wade and the Heat. The boys escaped the trip at 2-5 (wins in New Orleans and LA) and sit at 5-7 on the year — to be honest, a mark I’m pretty, pretty pleased with at this point. As always, a full preview for tonight’s game is available at Raptors Republic, including my world-famous simulation.
Miami enters tonight’s game at 7-4, but don’t be deceived: The Heat’s schedule has been the opposite of Toronto’s — not to hate on the Knicks and Nets, but it’s been a walk in the park, highlighted by eight of 11 at home. With apologies to first-class citizen Jermaine O’Neal, the Heat really have nothing going for them aside from Wade. Case in point: The Band-Aid Man was 6-of-18 for 15 points in Atlanta Wednesday and Miami was pasted 105-90. If the Raptors can keep Wade from going out of his mind, this should be a comfortable win.
With “defensive stopper” Antoine Wright expected out for Toronto, the Raptors will be forced into throwing a host of defenders at Wade, none of which, I’m sure, will be Jose Calderon. With Udonis Haslem unlikely to dress for the Heat, Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani should be set for field days against O’Neal and big softy Michael “Supercool” Beasley. No excuses for Andrea — time to get back to work after a couple nightmarish games.
The Raptors and Heat get it popping at seven.