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Raptors Look to Keep Rolling vs. Slumping Heat

The Toronto Raptors look to make it seven wins in a row when they entertain the struggling Miami Heat at the Air Canada Centre on Friday.

The Toronto Raptors look for just their second win against Chris Bosh, centre.
The Toronto Raptors look for just their second win against Chris Bosh, centre.
Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

Everything seems to be coming up Raptors of late.

Not only has the team won six straight games, but Kyle Lowry was voted in as a starter for the All-Star Game next month. It's a great time to be a Raptors fan.

It's also worth noting that although the Raptors got the monkey off their back by finally defeating Chris Bosh on Dec. 18, they still have not done it at home.

Here are three things to watch for tonight as the ESPN broadcast crew invades the ACC.

All-star shooting guard bitterness:

Thanks to pure popularity, Dwyane Wade is an all-star starter and DeMar DeRozan is not. Wade is one of the greatest shooting guards to ever lace up the sneakers, but DeRozan or Jimmy Butler is more deserving of representing the Eastern Conference as the starter at the two spot.

Wade missed Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards with shoulder soreness and will likely be sidelined for this one as well. As much as DeRozan probably would have loved to square off with 'The Flash,' he should be able to have his way against the likes of Tyler Johnson and Gerald Green and bolster his case to be named an all-star reserve.

Flickering Heat

Once considered as a top team in the improved East, the Heat have had a very rough go of it lately, losing six of their past seven outings. Now with Wade's shoulder issue, Goran Dragic's calf injury that's kept him sidelined for the past five games and Hassan Whiteside's hip barking at him, Miami is in serious trouble. A wounded animal can be dangerous and the Raptors can't overlook anyone (as evidenced by some bad losses already this season), but they should be able to run their win streak to seven.

Form follows function

The popular architectural term that emphasizes practicality over aesthetics comes into play for tonight's contest as each squad is strong defensively. Don't expect a repeat of Wednesday's game versus the Boston Celtics where both teams seemingly scored at will. Even against the battered and bruised Heat, the Raptors may have to win ugly tonight; something they've proved capable of doing consistently this year.

Where to watch: Sportsnet ONE at 8:00 p.m. ET