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Raptors vs. Heat Preview: Looking to bounce back in South Beach

The Raps roll into Miami as the roadtrip wraps up.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After suffering an ugly loss in Orlando on Friday night, where the team lost their shooting stroke and faltered in crunch time execution down the stretch, the Raptors will face the Miami Heat looking for win number six on the season.

The Raptors have struggled mightily in Miami over the past few seasons, and with both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade healthy, tonight's game will be a definite challenge.

Things to Look for:

Will DeMarre Carroll play?

Carroll has been battling plantar fasciitis through the first two weeks of the season, and the effects finally caught up with him on Friday night as he shot only 3-13 from the field. Carroll sat out Saturday's practice, and would be smart to sit down for tonight's matchup (and as long as it takes for full treatment), as the pain is a lingering one and be crippling to a player's health in the long term.

Jonas Valanciunas vs. Hassan Whiteside

JV has been absolutely dominant through the first six games of the year, averaging a double-double of 14.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. He's also been playing a ton of minutes in the fourth quarter, which is the most important stat for him in this young season.

Valanciunas will be matched up with Whiteside in tonight's game, the first centre he's faced with the same size, length and role he's faced this season. If Valanciunas can get going early once again and neutralize Whiteside's contributions on the offensive glass, it will bode very well for the Raps.

Bench Dominance

The Raptors are by far the deeper team in tonight's game, as with Gerald Green out, rookie Justise Winslow is the only player to worry about coming off the bench. Look for Patrick Patterson to exploit his matchup against the slower backup bigs and get back to making shots from the perimeter.

Where to Watch: Sportsnet One, 6:00pm