Ho-hum, just another game in a long NBA season. Needless to say, the real spectacle tonight won’t be the game itself, it will be how Chris Bosh will be treated by the fans. They’re going to boo, that’s a given. As for the mentality of the Raptors themselves, how fired up are they going to be for this game?
The way I see it, I don’t think most of the Raptors are going into this game with much more intensity than they would normally have. Sure, they probably realize how happy the fans would be if they pulled off an upset tonight, but I don’t think they have any real animosity towards Bosh that will drive them to play at a higher level.
Why would any of the Raptors hate Bosh? Jose Calderon doesn’t have any hard feelings. I doubt Andrea Bargnani cares any more about Bosh leaving than he does about rebounding. Amir Johnson is now starting in Bosh’s place so he can’t be mad. DeMar DeRozan is being presented as the future of the franchise now so I can’t see why he would have beef.
I expect to hear about how this team “lacks heart” if they get destroyed tonight but that would not only be unfair, it would be completely disconnected from reality. The Raptors can play harder than they’ve played in any game this season but the talent disparity between the two teams is so extreme that I can’t see why that would manner. If anything, Miami’s “Two and a Half Men” are going to be the ones looking to send a message tonight. Hell, LeBron James is probably looking forward to crushing the spirit of another angry mob.
Be prepared that this game could get ugly in a hurry — the Heat had a 22-point lead over the Pacers after one quarter last night. I’d love for the Raptors to prove me wrong in my expectation that they’re probably going to get dominated tonight, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m mostly looking forward to some entertaining chants and signs.
Toronto: Alexis Ajinca is questionable for tonight with turf toe.
Miami: Mike Miller suffered a head injury last night so he’s out tonight, while Mario Chalmers is listed a questionable with an ankle injury
1. Did you know that the Heat are 30-3 in their last 33 games in which James, Wade and Bosh all played?
2. If Miami finishes with the second-best record in the league (behind the Spurs), do you think LeBron James will win the MVP award?
3. Why is this game on TSN2 instead of TSN tonight? Because there’s a Leafs game tonight, that’s why.
4. Will the fans at the Air Canada Centre get the wind knocked out of them if the Heat take a huge early lead and don’t let up?
5. Since Reggie Evans isn’t playing, who do you think is most likely to commit a hard foul on Bosh tonight?
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Liveblog: James Borbath on theScore.com and ScoreMobile
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani
Miami: Eddie House, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James Chris Bosh, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Tonight’s pregame song is “I’ll Stick Around” by The Foo Fighters. I couldn’t find a particular “diss track” that seemed applicable, so this will have to do.