It was important for the Raptors to get off to a good start. Miami you had to expect would be fired up and looking to bounce back from an embarrassing lose, something the Raptors can relate to for sure. Raptors would win the opening tip and get a score in the post from Bargnani. Next would be a sign of things to come on 2 fronts. Demar DeRozan would miss a lay-up and the Heat would run in transition for the easy score from Wade. This would be a long night for Demar and the Raptors transition D would be burned many more times before the night was done. The Raptors would hang in this one early though. Jay Triano would be frustrated early on getting a early technical foul and the Heat after converting the tech would have a 4 point lead with score 16-12. Miami was sloppy in it's execution with 5 early turnover but the Raptors did not make them pay with just 2 points off them. Andrea Bargnani had a solid opening quarter with 10 points. He would give the Raptors a 22-20 lead. They would lead 26-22 and would give up an open jumper in the corner to Haslem and lead 26-24 after 1 quarter.
Haslem would score to open the second as well and even the score at 26. Bosh would pick up a foul early in the Quarter his second and he would be forced to have a seat..Raptors along with looking bad in the transition on D also were getting beat on the glass on the defensive end. The Heat would be getting second chances and Micheal Beasley on one of those would score to give the Heat a 35-30 lead. The Raptors would fight back to 39-36 as Bosh would return to the floor. This would be the point that this game would go south in a major way for the Raptors. Hedo Turkoglu would hit a 3 getting the lead down to 2 and from there it was over. Raptors would have 3 chances to score to tie it and could not and the Heat would get the easy score in transition plus a foul. It was a 5 point swing anf it would be a key moment in the game in retrospect. The Heat would but together a run fueled by Raptor mistakes the most glaring a blown alley oop play where Demar tried to hook up Pops for a slam. The Heat would build an 11 point lead. The Heat would score 36 in the quarter and have a 60-50 lead at the half. Some glaring halftime stats included Bosh with 0 rebounds, Raptors being outscored 17-2 in fast break points, bench points all Heat as well 30-12.
The Raptors would come out in the second half and get the lead trimmed to 6 points and that would be the closest they would get.Wade and Micheal Beasley were looking as good as Shaq and D-Wade ever did. It would be 81-66 before you knew it as the Raps were looking sloppy on offense and invisible on defense. This would continue for the entire quarter and the Raptors would trail 91-74. Really no point to talk much about the 4th quarter as the Raptors would basically throw out the reserves with no chance to win and a game vs Orlando tomorrow. It is worth mentioning yet another NBA player has his career high against the Raptors. Well to be fair he tied his career high as Michael Beasley had 28 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Wade has just 19 points on the night but ever point he made seemed to come at a backbreaking moment in the game. Bosh had 28 points as well but just 2 rebounds. While Bargnani who had 10 points in the first quarter would finish with just 14. Hedo after his best game as a Raptors was back to being sleep walking Hedo with just 12 points. Jack also after 4 strong games came crashing down to earth on this night.
Raptors just had little fight once they got behind and like on many other nights this season they gave up on both ends of the floor. They were having to fight to score and when they couldn't there defense that was far from good became non-existent. Jack Armstrong was there to watch it all on TSN and he is going to be my guest tomorrow in the late afternoon. Safe to say we will have a lot to talk about and sadly not much of it good. Raptors lose in uninspiring fashion 115-95. The questions are many when it comes to this team. I really start to wonder if Jay Triano and this group fit together. It seems clear he does not get the effort from the required on a consistent basis. Sam Mitchell would always demand fight from his teams and when he stopped getting that fight from his team he was shown the door. He would demand more from this team and get in people's faces be it privately or in public through the media. It just does not seem to me that Jay Triano can be the task master that this team needs to produce. It is not a question of if he is an intelligent basketball mind or not. It is just about if he can get the effort and execution that is required. Sadly his overall record both this year and last tell you that he is falling far short in that regard. It may not be right and the players are a big part of the problem. However at the end of the day you can't fire a team but you can fire a coach. That being said Triano needs to take responsibility for the team's performance or lack of it. It is his job to get these guys to perform.
If this team every does turn the corner tonight is one of the nights they will deeply regret come April when they are in the heat (no pun intended ) of a playoff race. However with every lose you start to wonder if there will be playoffs to worry about if things do not change rather quickly.