Date & Time: Monday, 3rd August, 1:30 PM ET (Monday, 11:00 PM IST)
Venue: HP Field House Orlando, FL
The Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat have defied all season predictions. They are currently the 2nd and 4th seeds respectively in the Eastern Conference, and have clinched playoff berths in the process. While Pascal Siakam has emerged as the leader for the Raptors, Jimmy Butler is asserting his dominance in the league.
Toronto Raptors Preview
The biggest asset for the defending champions Toronto Raptors is their old school defense. They are equipped to restrict offense-first teams to 90 points a game without hampering their own offense.
The Toronto Raptors cruised through the scrimmage games, defeating Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets, but suffered a defeat at the hands of Phoenix Suns. The Raptors are relatively healthy compared to other teams, with only Patrick McCaw and Oshae Brissett on day-to-day status. Dewane Hernandez is ruled out due to an ankle injury.
Key Player - Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka showed up in both games against the Miami Heat, recording a double-double in January and being one rebound away from recording another double-double in the previous matchup. He scored with a relatively higher efficiency compared to his teammates and had a positive defensive impact on the game as well.
Raptors Predicted Lineup
OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry
Miami Heat Preview
The Miami Heat have been exceptional this season after adding Jimmy Butler to their roster. Rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro are making a name for themselves in the league, with Bam Adebayo emerging as the MIP title favourite for the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Miami Heat were off to a rusty beginning in scrimmage, losing 2 out of 3 games. These seeding games are essential for the Heat to clinch the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference for an easier round 1 match-up in the playoffs.
Key Player - Bam Adebayo
One of the top contenders of the Defensive Player of the Year award, Bam Adebayo would be key to the matchup against Toronto Raptors. In addition, Adebayo recorded exceptional scoring efficiency in the Miami Heat's victories over the Raptors.
He had 15 points and 14 rebounds, along with 1 block, in their recent matchup and led the team in points and rebounds. He can easily switch between positions while defending and could possibly lock up Pascal Siakam.
Heat Predicted Lineup
Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder, Bam Adebayo
Raptors vs Heat Match Prediction
Toronto Raptors did not have an answer for the Miami Heat in the regular season games before the hiatus, although it's worthy to mention that Pascal Siakam missed one of the matchups against the Miami Heat.
Gauging the scrimmage performances of both teams, the Toronto Raptors are likely to emerge victorious in a head-to-head matchup with the Miami Heat.
Where to watch Raptors vs Heat?
Regional broadcast of the match will be available on Fox Sports Sun and Sportsnet. However, this game will not be televised on national TV. You can also live stream the match via the NBA League Pass.
Published 01 Aug 2020, 23:30 IST