Toronto Raptors 107, Miami Heat 96

Let's start with the good news: Dwyane Wade continues to play at an MVP level; Daequan Cook and Chris Quinn are actually giving the Heat a decent bench; the minutes of Mark Blount and Yakhouba Diawara continue to be appropriately very limited; Udonis Haslem continues to be a double-double machine despite his noted size disadvantage.

That's about it.

The bad news: Mario Chalmers earned the starting point guard spot fair and square,  but he's not doing a whole lot lately to keep it. It would probably shatter his confidence to bench him now - that's the danger of sliding a rookie in the lineup right away - but you can't face a team missing its top-flight point guard and get completely owned by his replacement. Will Solomon put up 15 points and 11 assists vs. Chalmers' 5 points, 3 assists and 6 fouls. That's unacceptable for a starter - if Wade's going to do all the playmaking, just make him the point guard and slide Cook in at shooting guard. If not, maybe it's time for the veteran Quinn to take over and let Chalmers decompress a little.

Frontcourts like this one are going to give Miami fits. They're just too damn big. I don't want to belabor this point all season, but it's costing the Heat wins, and there are absolutely no in-house options. That includes the concerted team-rebounding effort I called for in the preseason. Haslem got his 10, Beasley got 6 in 25 minutes, and nobody else managed more than 4, though Joel Anthony was effective in his limited time. Shawn Marion's biggest asset to this team should be his rebounding from the small forward position, but it's just not happening. You can't win getting outrebounded by 17. And Haslem and Beasley can't defend Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal - they're playing over their heads.

After his limited workload against Washington, I hate seeing Wade have to expend so much energy just to keep his team close. It's remarkable that fatigue isn't an issue for him yet, but it will be soon if this persists.

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