The high-powered Miami Heat may not be off to a flying start
with their superstar trio, but it’s clear that the Toronto Raptors
are a different team without Chris Bosh.
Bosh will face his former team for the first time Saturday night
when the Heat try to avoid a third straight loss as they host the
Miami (5-4) transformed the landscape of the NBA by adding
LeBron James and Bosh, but the results have been mixed to this
point. The Heat have dropped two straight at home and are in third
place in the Southeast Division.
“I think when you lose two in a row early on, I think everybody
is expecting us to panic,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m sure the
outside perception is in a panic right now. And that’s the most
important thing for us right now – to stay together as a group.
Bosh is averaging 14.8 points – his lowest mark since his second
season with Toronto (2-7) – and a career-low 6.0 rebounds. The
five-time All-Star forward is the Raptors’ all-time leader in
points (10,275), rebounds (4,776) and blocks (600) after they
selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft.
He feels he is having trouble adjusting on the defensive end of
the court, and that’s why his rebounding has been poor with
“I just have to know my role and keep working at it,” Bosh said.
“Just watch a lot of film and get back in the play sometimes and be
able to rebound from where I am instead of just trying to stay
under the basket all the time and wait till it comes my way. I have
to be aggressive and move a little bit more.”
The Raptors are clearly having trouble replacing their top
scorer and rebounder, although they ended a six-game skid with a
surprising 110-106 victory at Orlando on Friday. Andrea Bargnani
led the Raptors with 27 points, but Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan
made the key plays.
Weems made a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left.
DeRozan scored 26, including four free throws that sealed the
“I think we put everything together, played a full 48 minutes
tonight,” DeRozan said. “We want to prove how good we really are
and our record doesn’t show it, but when you go out and prove it,
it’s a whole other story.”
The Heat had Friday off after a 112-107 loss to Boston the
previous night. Dwyane Wade made 2 of 12 shots for a season-low
eight points after averaging 30.5 over his previous four games.
“Of course people are smiling and feeling good about our 5-4
start and as well as they should be,” Wade said. “The Heat haters,
that’s fine. But as long as we continue to get our support from our
fans and in here, we’ll be fine.”
James is second on the team in scoring with a 22.2 average, tied
for second with Bosh in rebounding and tops in assists (8.7 per
game). The two-time reigning MVP, though, is shooting 44.0 percent
– his lowest mark since his 2003-04 rookie season.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” James said. “I knew it
wouldn’t just be a bed of roses stepping into this situation. But I
came here for the challenge.”
Miami has won three of the last five meetings with Toronto after
losing the previous six.