Toronto (3-2) at Miami (2-3)
When: Friday, May 13th 2016
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The Toronto Raptors will try and reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history when they visit the Miami Heat for Game 6 of their semifinal series on Friday. Toronto came out sizzling in Game 5 taking a 10-point lead into halftime and 13-point lead into the fourth quarter before holding off the Heat 99-91 on Wednesday. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for 59 points on 20-of-47 shooting in Game 5 after going 6-of-28 in the previous contest. “Our team feeds off our energy,” Lowry told reporters of he and DeRozan. “Everything we do, they look at and they want to be a part of it. For us, it’s just about continuing to be aggressive.” With starting center Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) lost for the series, DeMarre Carroll dealing with a wrist contusion that knocked him out of Game 5 and DeRozan in constant pain from a thumb injury, Lowry has needed to step up. He has in two of the last three after failing to get anything going up to that point in the playoffs. Center Bismack Biyombo is averaging 11.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and three blocks in two games while starting in place of Valanciunas.
Dwyane Wade scored a team-high 20 points in Game 5 and is averaging 25.8 points in the series, but the rest of the team needs to pick up their shooting. Injuries are starting to mount for Miami as well. Hassan Whiteside (sprained knee) is likely out for Game 6 while forward Luol Deng will undergo an MRI exam on a wrist injury that knocked him out in the third quarter of Game 5. Deng was 0-of-8 from the floor in Game 5 before exiting and is averaging 7.8 points on 35.9% shooting in the series. Rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson figure to see even more minutes in Game 6 if Deng is unable to go. Miami could use a lot more from Joe Johnson as well, with the veteran shooting 37.2% in the series while knocking down 1-of-17 from 3-point range. The Heat came back from a 3-2 deficit in round one to knock off Charlotte and must do the same now.
It looks as if Lowry and DeRozan have their groove back and that’s bad news for the Heat who can’t rely on Wade to do everything. Biyombo has been terrific in place of Valanciunas and I think the Raptors wrap things up tonight on the road.
Pick: Raptors +4