The Raptors don’t have anything to play for today — aside for a chance to ruin Dwyane Wade’s afternoon. It’s their final home game of the regular season, and it’s at noon, which is a rather ungodly hour for a professional basketball game. At this point, Toronto just wants to stay healthy and sharp as they prepare for next weekend and Game 1 of their opening round series in the 2019 playoffs.
Well, actually, as I was reminded pre-game, Toronto does have one far out thing to compete for in the post-season: home court advantage in the Finals. Are we getting ahead of ourselves here? Maybe, but let’s go anyway. As things stand right now, the Raptors have 56 wins to the Warriors’ 55. Golden State sits atop the West, so if, as expected, they made it to the Finals and the Raptors joined them, Toronto would have the advantage (assuming both teams won out; the Raps hold the tiebreaker too). It’s a fun thing to consider.
The Heat, meanwhile, are playing for their lives. Last week, it looked extremely possible that we were headed for a 2-7 opening round matchup of Toronto vs. Miami, filled to the brim with all sorts of annoying Wade-led heroics. But now, after losing three in a row, the Heat sit in ninth place, a game behind the eighth-place Pistons. The world has gone mad! (Or at least the bottom half of the conference has.)
What that means today is simple: the Raptors, locked in second place in the East, would like to win to keep their long term goals in play. The Heat need to win to keep their short term dreams alive. Who will show more fight today?
Below are your updated game details and here is the full Raptors-Heat preview from Zakaria Abdulle from just a couple hours ago.
Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN4/5 at 12:00pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Miami – Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo
Toronto – Patrick McCaw (thumb – out)
Miami – Josh Richardson (groin – day-to-day), Ryan Anderson (personal reasons - out)