Raptors All-Stars Continue to Struggle, Heat Tie Up Series

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It was the play that summed up the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2oULNmaREw

Even the ball was done with this game as it came down to a sloppy overtime, which saw Miami and Toronto combine for only 15 extra period points (Stephen Curry meanwhile had 17 overtime points on his way to a 40 point effort and a win in his return to playoff action against the Blazers.)

Dwyane Wade dropped 30, including a lethal layup that sent the game into OT, while perfectly illustrating what it should mean to have an All-Star on your roster. Meanwhile at the other end of the court, Cory Joseph was given the responsibility of having the ball in his hands during the final seconds of regulation, instead of the cornerstone of the Raptors franchise DeMar DeRozan, or Kyle Lowry, who was fouled out.

Lowry fell off again in terms of contributing to the scoring effort, shooting a dismal 2-11 from the field, but still managed to put together a solid stat line, with 10 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, and four steals.

DeRozan shot 4-17 from the field for a mere nine points, but the frustrating thing about watching his game was the way he got those nine points, rarely attacking the rim against a team missing Hassan Whiteside, while settling for bad jump shots. 

It is difficult to watch DeMar try to shoot his way out of a shooting slump. Instead he should be attacking the rim, looking to finish on higher percentage shot opportunities, not to mention drawing fouls and connecting on free throws. This was something DeMar has worked on in previous off-seasons, finishing under contact and attacking the rim with more strength, but something that Raps fans have yet to see this playoffs.

Bismack Biyombo dropped a double double for the Raps last night with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Photo by Chris Young/CP

Bismack Biyombo dropped a double double for the Raps last night with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Photo by Chris Young/CP

Despite all of this, the Raps bench and role players have played their best basketball for the team, as illustrated last night by our scoring leaders Cory Joseph and Terrance Ross (both with 14), DeMarre Carroll (13), and Bismack Biyombo who threw in a double double in replacement of Jonas Valanciunas, adding 13 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

The story before the game, coming off a 31 point performance from Lowry and ankle injury to Valanciunas, was whether or not Biyombo’s play would suffice at the 5, or would the Raps need to resort to small ball. Instead the Biz fiercely protected the rim and did anything he could to put it in the bucket at the other end, while Lowry and DeRozan reverted back to the first round performances. 

 

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