The Miami Heat, who personal the NBA’s longest lively win streak at 5 video games, will start a three-game homestand on Wednesday in opposition to the Toronto Raptors.
Miami (16-16) can be tied for the league lead with a 9-Three win over the previous 12 video games. And, prior to now 5 video games, no Heat opponent has shot higher than 42.2 p.c from the ground.
“For the past two or three weeks, we’ve had a good flow,” Heat ahead Justise Winslow stated. “Guys are getting comfortable. I like where we are as a team.”
Meanwhile, Toronto (25-10) has the most effective file within the Eastern Conference. However, the Raptors are simply 5-6 of their previous 11 video games.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse admitted he was somewhat disenchanted his crew was as soon as once more not invited to play on Christmas Day.
“It’s a marquee day to play,” Nurse stated. “I think our guys would like to play on Christmas, but we play the schedule as it is.”
Both groups are battling accidents. The Heat is with out start line guard Goran Dragic, who just lately had knee surgical procedure and could possibly be out a few months. Shooting guard Dion Waiters, who has but to play this season after ankle surgical procedure, is training however just isn’t but able to return.
For Toronto, heart Jonas Valanciunas is out attributable to thumb surgical procedure, and three Raptors gamers are questionable: taking pictures guard Danny Green (knee), heart Serge Ibaka (knee) and level guard Kyle Lowry (thigh).
If all of them miss the Heat sport, Toronto could be with out 4 of its seven prime scorers.
“I think when the Raptors have been at full strength, they have been the best team in basketball this year,” stated J.J. Redick, the sweet-shooting guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Raptors confirmed what they may do earlier this season after they beat Miami 125-115 in Toronto.
Kawhi Leonard had 29 factors and 10 rebounds in that sport.
Leonard leads the Raptors this season in scoring (26.eight), rebounds (eight.four) and steals (1.eight). After taking part in simply 9 video games final season with the San Antonio Spurs, Leonard is placing up profession numbers in factors and boards in Toronto.
In addition, Lowry leads the Raptors with 9.eight assists, however he has missed 4 of Toronto’s previous 5 video games. He can be averaging 14.four factors, four.5 rebounds and 1.four steals.
Ibaka leads Toronto with 1.7 blocks and is averaging 16.7 factors and seven.5 rebounds.
Green, who’s averaging 9.7 factors, leads Toronto in three-point taking pictures (40.9 p.c) and free-throw taking pictures (93.Three p.c).
As for Miami, taking pictures guard Josh Richardson leads the crew with an 18.5 scoring common. Center Hassan Whiteside is averaging 13.1 factors and leads Miami in rebounds (13.2) and blocks (2.6).
The Heat will miss Dragic, who’s averaging 15.Three factors and a team-leading four.9 assists. But retiring star Dwyane Wade is offering a raise off the bench. He is scoring 14.2 factors in 24 video games, all of them in reserve. He scored 35 factors in that sport in opposition to Toronto earlier this season.