Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
Despite being out-rebounded 51-26 (they allowed a whopping 24 offensive boards), the Heat were able to come out on top, shooting a sizzling 58.2 percent from the floor and ramping up their defensive effort late in the game to snuff out the Raptors' comeback attempt.
The game was tied at 77 early on in the fourth before Miami took over.
Rudy Gay led all scorers with 27 points, and Raptors teammate Amir Johnson had an impressive performance of his own, going for 18 points and 18 rebounds. Dwyane Wade paced the Heat with 24 points, while LeBron James finished with 22.
The Heat will now have to prepare for a showdown with the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Monday night.
Point Guard: Mario Chalmers, D+
This was a forgetful outing for Mario Chalmers.
The point guard scored only one point and went 0-of-5 from the floor, missing on all three of his three-point tries. He did hand out six assists in 25 minutes, but his impact on this game was hardly felt.
There were also two instances where Chalmers stepped on the out-of-bounds line after receiving the ball in the corner for a three-point attempt. He needs to be more aware of where he is on the floor—for that to happen twice in the same contest is rather inexcusable.
Chalmers ended up with a plus-1 plus/minus stat, not a very impressive number considering Miami won this game by such a large margin.
Shooting Guard: Dwyane Wade, A
This was yet another incredibly efficient and effective game from Dwyane Wade.
The perennial All-Star finished with 24 points off 10-of-15 shooting, extending his streak of games with at least 20 points to 13, the longest current streak in the NBA. He also dished out nine dimes, doing an outstanding job of getting his teammates involved and sometimes passing out of open shots to do so.
It seems so typical of Wade nowadays to save his scoring for later on in the game, and that was once again true against Toronto. Wade scored only four points in the first quarter and tallied 14 of his 24 in the second half.
Wade appears to be getting healthier as the season progresses, which is a scary prospect for the rest of the league.
Oh, and Wade was a plus-30 in this one. Yeah, that's pretty good.
Small Forward: LeBron James, A-
As per usual, LeBron James came up with a very nice all-around performance on Sunday afternoon.
The potential MVP posted 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, coming so close to adding to his collection of triple-doubles. He went 6-of-12 from the floor (2-of-6 from downtown) and hit on eight of his 11 free-throw attempts, posing matchup problems for the Raptors the entire game.
Toronto tried all different types of defenders on LeBron, but none were able to match his blend of size and athleticism.
James was severely outplayed by Rudy Gay in the third quarter, however, as the Raptors' top scorer outscored him 14-5, beating him to the punch numerous times offensively. That third period was one of the rare occasions when LeBron got worked, but James and the Heat rebounded to stifle Gay in the fourth.
Again, great all-around effort by James, who finished with a plus-10.
Power Forward: Udonis Haslem, D
To be blunt, Udonis Haslem played pretty poorly in his 18 minutes against the Raptors.
Haslem only had one rebound as he played a part in watching Toronto's parade on the glass, doing a terrible job of boxing out. He was consistently beat for offensive rebounds, and it's not like he did anything else on the stat sheet to offset his terrible performance on the glass.
Haslem's role on the team is clearly not as crucial as it once was, but his job is to grab rebounds and play defense. He certainly didn't do the former on Sunday afternoon.
Center: Chris Bosh, B+
Chris Bosh had a very nice game offensively, scoring 18 points off 7-of-10 shooting and even canning two corner treys. He was extremely aggressive, making some smooth cuts and putting together a couple of nice drives to the basket which he finished off with dunks.
However, Bosh was brutal on the glass, failing to register a rebound until the second half and finishing with only two total. He was severely outplayed by Amir Johnson, being completely unable to stop the Raptors big man on the boards.
All things considered, Bosh hit a couple of big shots to stave off some Toronto runs, and he scored his 18 points in only 28 minutes of play. His offensive efficiency is what saves him from a considerably lower grade.
Sixth Man: Ray Allen, A
Ray Allen keyed Miami's knockout blow of a run down the stretch, recording 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. He drained four three-pointers during the explosion, and ripped the hearts out of the Raptors with dagger after dagger.
Allen also displayed some excellent ball skills in the first half, flashing some dazzling dribbling to get to the basket and create some offense for his team.
Ray was a plus-17, and you could argue that he was the pivotal player for the Heat in this win. Allen went 7-of-10 from the floor overall and hit on four of his six trifecta attempts.
Rest of Heat Bench, A-
Allen wasn't the only productive member of Miami's bench against the Raptors.
Chris Andersen, Norris Cole and Shane Battier combined to score 19 points, with Andersen doing it off 3-of-3 shooting and coming up with a timely three-point play in the fourth quarter.
Cole did most of his damage in the first half, making a couple of very nice backdoor cuts for easy layups. In the fourth quarter, however, he made an incredible alley-oop pass to Wade spanning nearly the entire court, and Wade completed the play by putting it down with two hands.
Props are also in order for Battier, who did an incredible job on Gay in the final period, making him take contested jumpers rather than allowing him to drive the lane and create opportunities for himself and teammates.
Nice job by the Heat pine.