The Miami Heat will take on the struggling Toronto Raptors tomorrow at the Amalie Arena. Championship hopefuls Heat currently have a 6-7 NBA record, while the Raptors have a 5-9 record, the third-worst in the highly competitive Eastern Conference.
The two teams played the first game of a two-match series yesterday, in which the Miami Heat prevailed with a scoreline of 102-111.
Fixture: Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors.
Date and Time: Friday 22nd January, 7:30 PM ET (Saturday, 23th Jan, 6:00 AM IST).
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Miami Heat Preview
Last year's NBA championship finalists, Miami Heat, have rallied in the last few days to win their last two games. This winning run came about post a disappointing period that saw them lose three matches in a row.
The Florida based team has faced COVID-19 related issues this campaign. This has restricted head coach Erik Spoelstra from naming his preferred starting lineup.
The team is still missing star swingman Jimmy Butler. Miami will have to try and notch up another win without him when they face the Toronto Raptors tomorrow.
Key Player - Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo made the NBA fraternity take note of him in last campaign's postseason, when he dominated games on both ends of the court. He signed a max contract in the offseason and has fully justified the deal with stellar performances this season.
Adebayo has averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists per game so far, which shows his versatility and improvement in areas apart from scoring. It safe to say that he will be the Heat's trump card against a gritty Toronto Raptors defense.
Miami Heat Predicted Lineup
G- Goran Dragic, G- Gabe Vincent, F- KZ Okpala, F- Kelly Olynyk, C- Bam Adebayo
Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors have struggled to find their offensive rhythm this season, which has resulted in them being stuck in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference.
The lack of a leading scorer has hurt the 2019 champions massively, as Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have been unreliable options in the closing stages of games.
Head coach Nick Nurse will have to make tweaks to his starting lineup soon, or else the Raptors won't be able to feature in the playoffs.
Key Player - Pascal Siakam
It is a testament to how poor the Toronto Raptors have been this season that an underperforming Pascal Siakam has been their best player.
The lanky forward has averaged 18.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game in the 2020/21 NBA season.
However, he has been quite poor in the deciding minutes of games - something he will need to improve when the Raptors welcome the Heat to their arena tomorrow.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G- Kyle Lowry, G- Fred VanVleet, F- Pascal Siakam, F- OG Anunoby, C- Aron Baynes
Heat vs. Raptors Match Prediction
The Miami Heat look like a confident outfit following their last win, and head coach Erik Spoelstra would like his men to build on their victory.
On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors look short on ideas offensively and seem incapable of winning against a good team. Fans can expect the Miami Heat to win this game comfortably.
Where to Watch Heat vs. Raptors
The Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors game will be televised on FSSUN and TSN Network. International fans can catch this game on the NBA League Pass.