GAME PREVIEW: Miami Heat travel to Canada missing 3 starters for a matchup against Toronto Raptors

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Game story:

The 11-9 Miami Heat have traveled to Toronto, Canada for a matchup against the 9-11 Raptors. Both teams are coming off of loses, and it is expected for this to be a tough game as it usually is against this young and very long Raptors team.

Toronto is filled with tall, lengthy players who cause lots of disruption on the defensive end for any opponent.

Sadly for Miami, they won’t even have access to their star big man Bam Adebayo to combat that for tonight. Adebayo is out again with his lingering hip pain, and is most likely going to be out for at least the next few games.

It will be interesting to see if Orlando Robinson, Thomas Bryant or maybe even Nikola Jovic will be the guy to step up against an athletic and big squad like Toronto.

Haywood Highsmith, the starting PF, is also out tonight due to back pain. He missed a game last week but then came back the following game only to appear in limited minutes, and looked noticeably off physically.

Tyler Herro is out yet again, with not many good or conclusive updates that show his return to the lineup is near.

Jimmy Butler is the lone man standing for tonight out of Miami’s big three; not a good look for Butler to be shouldering all this load on both ends of the floor so early in the season.

The Miami Heat are an injury-prone team, and have been for pretty much the entire Jimmy Butler era. The notion that they “always have enough” is true most of the time because of Erik Spoelstra’s elite coaching and impressive team depth.

This Heat team is going to compete every night no matter who is available, but the long-term absence of Adebayo hurts. He is simply a player that is so important to everything this squad represents.

In games where Adebayo hasn’t played, Miami is 1-3 this season. Heat fans have seen all 3 of Kevin Love, Thomas Bryant and more recently Orlando Robinson filling in as the starting big man in his absence this year.

Robinson is coming off a nice outing last weekend against the Indiana Pacers where he put up 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists on efficient shooting numbers and even 2/2 from 3 point range.

Expect for ‘big O’ to get another starting nod to follow up his opportunity on Saturday night.

Another player to keep an eye on tonight is Duncan Robinson. He has improved so much this season compared to last season and is coming off an impressive outing himself in the last game.

With the Herro injury keeping him out long-term, Robinson has gotten a steady and consistent chance to prove he can still be a starter in this league as well.

His 3 point shooting has been terrific, but it’s truly everything else that has really caught the eye of fans and media.

He is putting the ball on the floor and scoring in so many different ways, rather than just being a catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter like he has been most his career.

For the Raptors, the talented trio of Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby are gritty and tough on both ends. They are young, big and energetic.

It will be crucial to contain all of them in the open court, and not allow them to run on fast breaks.

Tonight’s game will tip off at 7:30 PM ET on Bally Sports Florida.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Bam Adebayo (hip) — OUT
  • Haywood Highsmith (back) — OUT
  • Tyler Herro (ankle) — OUT
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT
  • RJ Hampton (knee) — OUT
  • Cole Swider (g league) — OUT

Toronto Raptors:

  • Gradey Dick (g league) — OUT
  • Christian Koloko (illness) — OUT
  • Ron Harper Jr. (g league) — OUT
  • Markquis Nowell (g league) — OUT
  • Javon Freeman-Liberty (g league) — OUT

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Kevin Love, F/C
  • Orlando Robinson, C

Toronto Raptors:

  • Dennis Schroder, G
  • OG Anunoby, G/F
  • Scottie Barnes, F
  • Pascal Siakam, F
  • Jakob Poeltl, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: TNT & Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

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Lets go 12-9! And start another run of wins, Go Heat!


As long as they give it all they have, I’m good with that.

“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”


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