Primarily using their Bigger Line-up [i.e. with Bargnani, O’Neal & Bosh] for the 3rd consecutive game … this time with Jose Calderon [PG] back at the helm … the Raptors were able to:
1. WIN the Battle of the Boards [Tor +2: Tor/43; Mia/41];
2. PROTECT the Paint with 3 Shot-blocking players on the court simultaneously [BS/4; surrendering only 11 Made Layups/Dunks];
3. Control/limit the damaging effects of DRIBBLE PENETRATION by Switching vs Pick Action with their 3 Bigger Players;
4. Break Even in the Turnover Battle [Tor/10; Mia/10]; and,
5. Shoot a HIGH PERCENTAGE on their 3FGM-A [9-13/.692].
FINAL SCORE: Raptors 101, Heat 95
When the Raptors employ THIS specific Style of Play … i.e. with 3 Shot-blocking Bigger Players on the court, simultaneously; Jose Calderon at the helm [32+ MP]; Andrea Bargnani [3-4, 3FGm-A] as a PERIMETER Shooting Threat [not as a Post-up Player]; and, Anthony Parker going 5-5 on 3FGM-A/1.000 … this is a team which is capable of finishing among the Top 6 of the Eastern Conference this season.
Over the course of their second set of 10 games, it will be interesting to see how this 5-man Unit plays together for Toronto [6-5]:
Game 9 – v Mia – W
Game 10 – @ Orl – L
Game 11 – @ Mia – W
Game 12 – vs NJ
Game 13 – vs Bos
Game 14 – vs Cha
Game 15 – vs Atl
Game 16 – @ Lal
Game 17 – @ Den
Game 18 – @ Uta
Game 19 – vs Por
Game 20 – @ Cle
2. Missed contested J2 vs Boston. [poor]
3. Big Steal & tough Driving Layup vs Miami. [solid]
For those who still doubt El Matador’s mettle … keep an eye out for these types of situations as this season develops.