Now that's a three-forward lineup.
Toronto's unfair front line of Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neal and Andrea Bargnani laid waste to Miami's flawed frontcourt, negating a magnificent effort from Dwyane Wade, a season-best performance from Shawn Marion. This is a rough loss on paper, but it's nearly impossible to beat a team that was shooting as well as the Raptors last night. Miami gave itself a chance, but you need an occasional three-pointer to rim out for the other guys to win close games like this. What are you going to do?
And it's back to .500. Our room still available?
- Wade echoed Chris Bosh's effort against Orlando a night earlier, scoring 40 in a loss. Wade was absolutely flawless last night, keeping down the turnovers and even blocking 5 shots. Brilliant! Can we stop worrying about the ankle now?
- The Shawn Marion trade value index skyrocketed after last night's 20-point, 14-rebound effort. I'm fighting the urge to say Miami should hold on to him - it helps that this kind of performance came in a loss. It also proves that Michael Beasley and Marion are incompatible - Marion went off while playing power forward alongside Daequan Cook, rather than small forward/hybrid forward/whatever next to Beasley.
- I'm still not overly concerned, but Beasley was a complete non-factor tonight. I'm still confident he'll straighten it out. Udonis Haslem had a dud of a game too, but he was due to come back to earth eventually. I still think he'll tend more to the 12 and 10 double-double - his shot just wasn't falling.
- Marion's board work helped mitigate a huge Raptors rebounding advantage among the bigs. Bosh and O'Neal outrebounded Beasley and Haslem 28-14, though Beasley's minutes were limited.
- Chris Quinn has pushed the point guard position almost to a platoon, getting 24 minutes to Mario Chalmers' 28. Neither was spectacular nor disastrous. Not that I want those guys out of the rotation, but I'd like to get a long look at Wade and Cook alongside the Three Forwards. Wade's doing all the playmaking anyway, so I'm not sure what's stopping Erik Spoelstra from letting him play point guard and putting a two-guard next to him.
- Even with Beasley's foul trouble, Mark Blount was nowhere to be found. Barring injury, I believe we might have seen the end of Blount as a regular rotation player. When Jamaal Magloire's back, Blount might be looking at the inactive list.