clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game Preview: Heat and Raptors look for series control

New, comments

One team will move within a game of the Eastern Conference Finals when this one is over. Who will it be?

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat used a gutsy comeback in Game 4, eliminating a 9 point deficit in the 4th quarter on their way to an overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors. Now the series is tied 2-2 and both teams are hoping to seize control in Game 5.

Both Jonas Valanciunas and Hassan Whiteside remain OUT for this game and will not play.

Both teams ended the game playing small ball despite Toronto having success using Bismack Biyombo against the undersized Heat. Now, we will likely see even more adjustments from both teams. For Miami, it's going to be how they guard the pick and roll. That has been the lethal part of the Raptors offense that the Heat didn't figure out until late. How they guard Kyle Lowry and Cory Joseph on the high screen is important.

For Toronto, the key adjustment needs to come on how they keep the Heat's scorers out of the paint. Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson and Goran Dragic all found their way into the paint during the Heat's run in the 4th and overtime. The Raptors may settle to see if Miami can recover from a terrible three-point shooting night and beat them from deep.

Either way, with 3 games out of 4 going to overtime, we are likely in for a special treat on Wednesday night.

GAME DETAILS:
Miami @ Toronto // 8:00 PM EST
TV: TNT // Radio: 790

Probable Starters
Goran Dragic PG Kyle Lowry
Dwyane Wade SG DeMar DeRozan
Joe Johnson SF DeMarre Carroll
Luol Deng PF Patrick Patterson
Amare Stoudemire C Bismack Biyombo

Keys to the Game

1. How will DeMar DeRozan respond?
He played bad, I mean worse than Lowry in Game 4. He turned it over in crucial moments, was benched and struggled from the line again. He has a hand that is bothering him, but coming back home, how will he respond? That's a huge question here, and if he is attacking, the Heat might be in trouble.

2. How much more can Dwyane Wade do?
At 34 years old, the Heat (team) can't expect Wade to continue busting out 30 point games. It seems at times that Miami's offense is do or die with Wade, as in they can't operate efficiently unless he is doing all the creating and scoring. Dragic needs to step up again and it would be great to see something from one of Udonis Haslem, Josh McRoberts or Amare Stoudemire. But, if Wade can continue his stellar play, it can erase many of Miami's mistakes.

3. Will the bench show up for Miami?
That was a problem in Game 2. And now, back on the road, the Heat need someone of the likes of Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow or Josh McRoberts to have a game. The Heat can't afford to overplay Joe Johnson and Dwyane Wade in minutes. They need valuable and productive nights from the bench.

For more on the Raptors, visit RaptorsHQ.

Come back and join us for the GameThread before tipoff.