Miami Heat -7 @ Toronto Raptors – TOTAL: 192
The Heat has gotten a lot of press for their poor performance, especially on the road since the All-Star break. Most of it is well deserved. Let’s face it, a team this talented and deep shouldn’t get blown out by anyone, even a solid home team like the Indiana Pacers. They definitely shouldn’t get blown out two nights in a row, even if one of the teams is arguably the best team in the NBA, Oklahoma City. (It’s hard to argue against OKC after they blew out the Heat and then at the Lakers last night). The fact is, they have been sleepwalking a bit and it shows. The good news is, I’d much rather have my team of super-duper stars sleepwalking than limping, as in the case with Chicago’s Derek Rose.
The Heat is the kind of team that, despite protestations to the contrary, is fueled by some neglect and criticism. They seem to burn hotter when the glare of the media and sports fans turns to them. I have a feeling the unfortunate recipients of some renewed purpose and vigor might be the Toronto Raptors tonight.
The Heat have won six in a row against Toronto, including a perfect 5-0 since the Big Three took their collective talents to South Beach. They have also covered in each one of those contests, and their average margin of victory has been a shad under 16ppg. In summary, it’s been pretty ugly for the Rap’s.
Toronto has lost 6 of 9, which for them is actually not a terrible performance, and they have even gone a blistering 4-5 ATS. Sarcasm aside, how is this only a seven point game?? Aren’t the Heat two touchdowns better than the Raptors on any floor in the galaxy? Granted the Heat played the defending champs in Dallas, but fortunately for them, Dallas didn’t expend much effort “defending” anything; particularly Heat players! Miami cruised to an easy 105-86 victory, and I just can’t see this team mailing it in enough tonight to let Toronto threaten.
We are starting to get to playoff time. This is where most teams (Boston Celtics 2010 excluded) typically take a little ten-game test drive to see where they are at and get ready to play “for real.” There will be a little resting of stars, but that won’t happen soon enough for the Raptors. I like King James to dominate early and throughout against the mismatched Raptors and to cruise to an easy double-digit win. Give me the Heat laying just seven.
Free Pic: Miami Heat -7