Kyle Lowry is back and good to go, says Raptors coach Nick Nurse; and really, that’s all we need to know about tonight’s Toronto vs. Miami game. The rest of the particulars are the same as they always are with the Heat. They’re going to prove impossible to put away, they’re going to bang at the Raptors everywhere on the court, and they’re going to try and win.
These three things could be said of any team in the NBA, but if you watch Miami play it feels like these edicts all apply a bit extra. That’s the best way to describe the Heat (albeit begrudgingly): they’re extra. To hear Nurse talk pre-game about the importance of effort on defense and how that’s managed to shape the Raptors’ identity, it’s not a stretch to believe Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has said much the same thing over the years. Every coach does, yes, but once again with the Heat: it hits just a bit extra.
Tonight, the Raptors are in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are one game back in third. The two of them, plus the Celtics, Sixers, and Bucks, make up the definitive cream of the crop on this coast. Those five teams are currently 43-1 at home and look like they’ll all be pushing each other all season. The Raptors have managed to beat the Sixers, but they lost to the Celtics and Bucks so far this year. Can they even things up now with the Heat?
Check out the full Raptors-Heat preview here from Satbir Singh. Below are the updated game details. Consider this latest information a little extra incentive.
Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One, 7:30pm EST
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Miami – Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard
Toronto – Patrick McCaw (out – knee), Matt Thomas (out – finger), Stanley Johnson (out – groin)
Miami – Goran Dragic (out – groin), KZ Okpala (out – Achilles)