Friday, 20 April, 2018

NBA Predictions: Will Heat cover as underdogs at Raptors? 1/9/18

Serge Ibaka James Johnson NBA Predictions: Will Heat cover as underdogs at Raptors? 1/9/18
Kristopher Love | 12 January, 2018, 17:29

With their all-star point guard sidelined due to a back injury, the Raptors suffered a crushing, white-knuckled 90-89 loss to the Miami Heat, in which they were badly out-rebounded and lost Serge Ibaka to an ejection. The Bucks tried to slow DeRozan down by double-teaming him throughout the game but the Raptors were quick to adjust.

Goran Dragic had 24 points and 12 rebounds as Miami extended its season-best winning streak to five. But DeMar DeRozan converted a three-point play with 26.1 seconds left, and the Raptors held on for a 114-113 victory when Dinwiddie's last-second layup attempt went over the backboard Monday night at Barclays Center. The usually raucous Air Canada Centre crowd was bored and quiet.

Adonis De La Rosa topped the Golden Flashes (7-9, 1-2) with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Raptors had no answer for Heat rookie Bam Adebayo, who has the makings of a frontcourt beast, but when Toronto picked up its defence, the Raptors became far more competitive.

On the season, the Raptors are averaging 112.1 points, 42.8 rebounds and 22.8 assists per game. DeRozan leads in points and in steals (1.2) per game while Valanciunas tops in rebounds (7.8).

Derrick Jones Jr., signed to a two-way contract by the Heat on December 31, made his first start for Miami in place of Tyler Johnson, who strained his left shoulder going through drills at shootaround earlier in the day. At this price, he is simply the best overall play per dollar on the slate on all sites. They have been playing fantastic defense recently.

The Raptors media relations team tweeted that the diagnosis was acute back spasms.

The Nets could have let this game slip in regulation and still would have been applauded for fighting back from a bad start and a tough Raptors team.

I'd say it was good use of limited resources but it was a gamble a lot of teams aren't taking these days.

Toronto averages 5.8 blocks per game, which ranks second in the league.

Toronto ranks first in points off turnovers per game (19.4) while Brooklyn ranks 25th (14.8).

Instead, Brooklyn's leader in Dinwiddie willed a team comeback, even though the result did not skew positive. The second-place Raptors hadn't faced them since last April in the regular season. As mentioned earlier he also set the franchise record for points scored in a game at 52.