Well that got ugly pretty quickly.
Game 4 between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat was extremely difficult to watch due to the poor calibre of offensive play demonstrated by both teams. Late in the contest, the ball decided it didn't even want to play anymore.
Without Jonas Valanciunas available and with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan still putting up historically bad numbers, Toronto's offence has, to put it kindly, laboured. Dwane Casey says the team has worked on getting more movement on the offensive end, and claims he is willing to go with even smaller lineups than he did in the previous outing. Could this mean we see some more James Johnson?
Working in the Raptors' favour is the fact that they hold home-court advantage in the series. A win tonight in front of a raucous Air Canada Centre and all the bad memories of Game 4 go away.
Here are some links for your reading and viewing pleasure as you anxiously await the opening tip:
Kevin Nimmock has our game preview.
Feeling uneasy about the Raptors' chances of advancing? Don't worry, Vegas still has Toronto as the favourites to reach the Conference Finals.
Our very own Daniel Reynolds writes about how even the Raptors' wins have felt like losses, for the most part.
Sportsnet's Michael Grange takes the unpopular stance that Casey is doing a good job of coaching despite all the criticism he's faced.
TSN's Josh Lewenberg looks at how DeRozan's thumb injury does not excuse his miserable play.
And here are some video links:
Lowry: I'm playing well, just not making shots
Kyle, DeMar still positive their best will come
Playoff nerves an uncomfortable reality for Raptors fans
Now that you're up to speed, let's start the comments for Game 5. DeRozan's final home game in a Raptors uniform?