It’s way too early to say this but the thought of a Raptors vs. Heat playoff series fills me with immense dread. The last time we saw it, in 2016, I feel like entire lifetimes passed before we were finally done with it — and it was Toronto who actually won the dang thing. The Heat and Raptors are both different teams now, changed in ways both big and small, and yet: if they were to play in the playoffs again, I would be despondent. Please, no more.
Nevertheless, the Raptors are playing the Heat tonight in Miami and while it is not a playoff game (thank goodness), it will likely be an intense contest. We’re banging this drum again today, but there’s just no other way to write about the Heat without bringing it up. I suppose we could launch into a whole treatise on Jimmy Butler, but really, who has that kind of time? We’ll move on to discuss other things.
Those things include who is starting tonight for the Raptors. After OG Anunoby’s surprise demotion against the Cavaliers on Tuesday, there was some thinking to the idea that he’d be back in the starting lineup after his subsequent strong performance. As the Athletic’s Eric Koreen pointed out, however, it may have made sense for him to take the spot of starter Patrick McCaw due to size concerns. With only Serge Ibaka healthy as a legit big body, the Raptors do have a need to stack up more to deal with the Heat’s size and mobility (and whatever it is Kelly Olynyk brings). It made for an interesting afternoon thought experiment.
In any case, we have our lineup answer now — OG is indeed back in for Rondae, all others are the same, and such is life. The updated Raptors vs. Heat game details are below (and my full preview is here).
Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One at 7:30pm EST
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Patrick McCaw, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka
Miami — Jimmy Butler, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard
Toronto — Pascal Siakam (out - groin), Marc Gasol (out - hamstring), Norman Powell (out - shoulder), Matt Thomas (out - finger), Dewan Hernandez (out - ankle)
Miami — Justise Winslow (out - lower back)