The Miami Heat survived Kyle Lowry's half-court heave that could have shifted the entire series. The 102-96 overtime victory in Game 1 immediately gave the Heat home court advantage over the Toronto Raptors. Now, as Game 2 approaches, the Heat look to have a greedy eye and take another.
That doesn't happen very often. A split is the likely scenario and even one that's good for the NBA and TV. But the Miami Heat will do all that they can to come home up 2-0.
Game 2 @ Toronto is Thursday, May 5
Start: 8:00 PM EST
TV: ESPN / Radio: 790
Miami -- Chris Bosh (illness), OUT; Dwyane Wade (knee), probable
Toronto -- none
GAME 1 RECAP -- See the details from Miami's 102-96 victory.
|Goran Dragic||PG||Kyle Lowry|
|Dwyane Wade||SG||DeMar DeRozan|
|Joe Johnson||SF||Norman Powell|
|Luol Deng||PF||DeMarre Carroll|
|Hassan Whiteside||C||Jonas Valanciunas|
3 Keys to the Game
1. The double on JV
Jonas Valanciunas gave the Heat some serious problems. He scored on Hassan Whiteside over and over. Backed him down when he wanted, and caused issues in the pick-and-roll. One thing the Heat began doing, as they did late in the series with Charlotte and Al Jefferson, was send a late double team. This mostly came from Luol Deng, but it was all about timing.
When JV gets the ball with under 5 seconds on the shot clock, Miami needs to send a double and cause him to make a decision and thus make the next player make a play. Jonas was just a little too on his game for Whiteside in Game 1 and Miami needs to make some type of adjustment.
2. Be ready for Kyle Lowry
Yes, he had a bad game, and yes he was bad in the first round. But Lowry was really bad in Game 1. Bad enough to keep him behind to shoot more jumpers. He wasn't very aggressive and I expect that to change. The Heat need to be ready, and the #1 priority is to keep Goran Dragic out of foul trouble. That means the Heat defense needs to be ready to rotate. Lowry will try to avenge his bad play and Miami should be ready for it.
3. Balance the minutes
Spoelstra played a heavy 7 man rotation in Game 1. This series will be every other day all the way through. He needs to begin to put either Josh McRoberts or Amare Stoudemire back into double digit minutes and even consider Gerald Green a bit more. When Joe Johnson is playing 42 minutes, we need to balance more. This is more about health than just Game 2 strategy, but it will help in the long run.
And if I were to add anything else, it would be to let Goran Dragic keep doing his thing.
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