2016 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Game #7
#3 Miami Heat vs #2 Toronto Raptors
Best of Seven Series Ties 3-3
Sunday, May 15, 2016, 3:35 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening Line: Toronto -4 1/2
Current Line: Toronto -4 1/2
Opening Total: 190
Current Total: 189
Opening Money Line: Raptors -200 / Heat +170
Current Money Line: Raptors -200 / Heat +170
Although every game in the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors has been competitive, including three overtime games, the quality of basketball hasn’t been that great. The two teams meet in the deciding game seven Sunday afternoon in Toronto. The winner will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals starting Tuesday. Toronto and Miami have traveled a combined 5,000 miles in this series and went through customs four times.
Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat finished as part of a three way tie for first in the Southeast Division at 48-34 along with the Hawks and Charlotte Hornets. The Boston Celtics also had the same record, and the Heat won the division and the #3 seed via tiebreaker. Miami beat #6 Charlotte in seven games in the first round. Miami is 50-43-1 ATS and the total is 40-55-1 this season. The Heat look to return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fifth time in six seasons after missing the playoffs last year.
Toronto is coached by Dwayne Casey. The Raptors won the Atlantic Division for the third straight season with a 56-26 record by 8 games over the Boston Celtics. Toronto is the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference but they were only a game behind the Cavaliers. The Raptors are 49-44 ATS and the total is 47-47-1 this season. Toronto beat the #7 seed Indiana Pacers in seven games in the first round. Toronto has never advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in franchise history.
Miami won game one in Toronto 102-96 in overtime. Toronto won game two 96-92 in overtime and game three in Miami 95-91. The Heat evened the series with a 94-87 win in overtime in game four. Toronto won game five 99-91 at home. The Heat forced a game seven with a 103-91 win Friday in Miami.
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Miami is outscoring teams 100-98 this season. The Heat are #23 in scoring but #5 in points allowed. Miami is shooting 47% from the field and 33.6% from three point range. Miami is #4 in field goal percentage. The Heat make 74.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 34.7% from three point range. Miami averages 44.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.3 per game. Miami is #6 in rebounds allowed. The Heat average 20.8 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 6.5 blocks per game.
Forward Chris Bosh is out for the season with blood clots. He averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Dwyane Wade averages 19 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Hassan Whiteside averages 14.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He is out with a knee injury. Goran Dragic averages 14.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Joe Johnson averages 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Luol Deng averages 12.3 assists, 6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Gerald Green and Justise Winslow will also get time in the rotation. Udonis Haslem is probable with a foot injury. Tyler Johnson is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
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Toronto is outscoring teams 103-98 this season. The Raptors are #3 in points allowed this season. Toronto is shooting 45.1% from the field and 37% from three point range. The Raptors are #5 in three point shooting. Toronto makes 77.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 37.3% from three point range. The Raptors are #29 in three point defense. Toronto averages 43.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.8 per game. The Raptors are #4 in rebounds allowed. Toronto averages 18.7 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 5.5 blocks per game.
Guard DeMar DeRozan averages 23.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal per game. Guard Kyle Lowry averages 21.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Center Jonas Valanciunas averages 12.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. He is out with an ankle injury. Forward DeMarre Carroll averages 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Terrance Ross, Luis Scola, Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson, Bismack Biyambo and James Johnson will also get some minutes in the rotation.
Miami is 5-1 ATS after scoring 100 points or more, 4-1 after a double digit win, 6-2 against teams with winning records, overall, against Eastern Conference teams, and on one day rest, 35-15-2 in Sunday games, 28-12-1 in second round games, and 4-9 in road games.
Toronto is 3-7 ATS after a double digit loss, 2-5 after failing to cover and against Southeast teams, 2-6 on one day rest, 1-4 at home, 2-8 against teams with winning records, overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 1-4 against teams with losing road records and 0-5 in Sunday games. The favorite is 13-6 ATS in this series recently.
Both teams lost their talented centers to injuries, so they have played a lot of small ball line-ups. Lowry and DeRozan have been way too inconsistent in the playoffs for a pair of all-stars. If they show up, then Toronto has a great shot to advance. Miami has won four straight game sevens and are a veteran team. Still, I like the Raptors to win game seven at home in a close game.