The Miami Heat is still getting started in what is going to be a very long season. Considering all the new players on the team this year, it seems like the Heat have started from scratch and are gradually working their way up the ladder. That being the case, we're going to witness a lot of ‘firsts' throughout the season for the Heat.
Unfortunately not all of them will be good. Miami will look to end their first string of consecutive losses tonight when they'll welcome the Toronto Raptors to the AAA. The Heat has dropped two straight games, both at home, but isn't showing any signs of distress or panic. And they shouldn't.
Both the players and coaches understand that it's a long season and that it's going to take some time before the team can get to where they want to be. There are some of the best players in the world on this team, so naturally they are used to being the top dog on their team. Now they are all adjusting to playing with other superstars, so while the potential for greatness is pretty amazing it is going to take a little while before they can get to that point.
Shifting our focus back to the task at hand, the Toronto Raptors come to Miami fresh off of a very surprising win last night in Orlando. Before that the Raptors had lost six games in a row and are struggling to find consistent scoring after losing Chris Bosh to the Heat in the offseason. Bosh is the Raptors all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, and this will be the first time that the former 4th overall pick will play against the team that drafted him.
- Dwyane Wade will look to start a new streak of consecutive double-digit scoring games. His 8-poins against Boston snapped a 30-game run in which he scored at least 10 points.
- This is game 1 of 4-game series between Miami and Toronto this season. The teams split the 4-games last year with both teams wining their home games.
- The Heat are just 1-2 on their current 6-game homestand.
- Udonis Haslem is coming off a nice 21-point effort against Boston. It's the highest scoring game for any Heat reserve this season.
- Another bright spot off the bench, James Jones comes into this one with an 11-game streak of hitting at least one 3-pointer.
- As usual, only Mike Miller is out for the Heat.
- Toronto will be without forward Ed Davis (knee) and guard Leandro Barbosa (shoulder). Forward Linas Kleiza (Achilles) is listed as questionable.
Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7:30. It will be interesting to see how the Heat rebound from a pair of poor defensive efforts against Utah and Boston earlier this week.