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GAME PREVIEW: Miami Heat visit the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors in a possible playoff preview

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Miami won their last game against Toronto in a low-scoring game, can the Heat do it again?

NBA: Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat (30-26) travel to Canada to square off against the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors (39-16), who also have the NBA’s best home record, 23-4.

Game Information

When: Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

TV: Fox Sports Sun

Radio: WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Win probability: ESPN predictor has Miami as underdogs with a 22% chance to win the game.

Probable Starters

HEAT: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside

RAPTORS: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas

Injury Report

HEAT: Rodney McGruder (out, tibia surgery), Dion Waiters (out, ankle sprain), Kelly Olynyk (out, shoulder)

RAPTORS: OG Anunoby (questionable, ankle)

Scouting Report

The Raptors are heavy favorites due to their league-best home record and on the tail of a five-game winning streak. Last time they met Miami defeated Toronto 90-89 on Wayne Ellington’s clutch basket.


The first game was notable as the highest combined number of blocks, 26, by two teams since the 2012-13 season. Only the Utah Jazz in 2001 (18) and 2004 (15) surpassed the Heat’s 14 blocks as a team in this century.

Lowry wasn’t available for that game, but will be in action on Tuesday. Since that game last month, the Raptors have changed their shot selection making more 3-point attempts.

The shot selection in their first game against Miami showed Toronto went into the painted area more than in the Charlotte game shotchart image below this one.

In the Raptors win against the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto went 18-37 on 3PT tries.

Lowry did not attempt a single field goal inside the three-point line versus the Hornets, possibly due to lingering back pain.

DeRozan expanded his range, although he heavily favors the left side of the court. Attempts from right side weren’t productive.

C.J. Miles had 24 points off the bench, making 6 of his 9 three-point attempts. His preferred spots on the court mirrored DeRozan’s.

Knowing Dwight Howard could overwhelm Valanciunas in the paint, the Raptors took advantage of the Hornets weaker defenders in Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum by focusing on an outside attack.

The Raptors bench destroyed the Hornets one in +/- minutes, with C.J. Miles +28, Jakob Poeltl +25, and Fred VanVleet +26. Part of Miami’s success in their first Toronto encounter came from the quality depth of the Heat’s rotation players, which many teams don’t have.