Updating a previous report, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (tailbone, back) will not play on Tuesday against the Miami Heat. The Bucks tried to slow DeRozan down by double-teaming him throughout the game but the Raptors were quick to adjust. When Lowry is off the court, DeRozan sees a enormous 12% usage increase and scores 0.39 more fantasy points each minute.
With DeMar DeRozan playing out of his mind, a modernized offense, underrated continuity and a young second unit that's emerged as one of the best in the National Basketball Association, the 2017-18 Toronto Raptors are probably the best group in the franchise's history.
When the second half began, the Raptors were much more engaged on either end of the floor, their ball movement much improved, their compete level far more superior to what played out in the first half.
Despite a 90-89 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, the Raptors (28-11) are 14-2 at home.
Lowry is second on the Raptors in scoring at 16.2 points per game, averaging a team high seven assists.
The game's Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 218 points with Toronto opening as a 7.5-point favorite.
Overall, the Raptors' offence wasn't good, making only one three-point shot and shooting under 37% from the field. They have been playing fantastic defense recently. The Nets rank 22nd in offensive efficiency, while the Raptors are fifth in defensive efficiency.
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But it was never as bad as it looked when the Celtics at one point trailed the Sixers by 22 points, and nine after 24 minutes. JJ Redick (10) and Simmons (six) combined to score the Sixers' first 16 points as they jumped out to a seven-point lead.
Despite DeRozan's struggles, he was 6-of-21 after three quarters, the Raptors were still in it heading into the game's final period.
The game was intense, to say the least, due to the several altercations and back and forth between the two teams. Despite the frustration, this and the game against Boston showed that the Nets can really hang with the best teams in the league. Dragic leads in points and assists (4.8) per game while Whiteside tops in rebounds (11.5) and blocks (1.5) per game.
Instead, Brooklyn's leader in Dinwiddie willed a team comeback, even though the result did not skew positive.
Hardaway, a fifth-year guard out of MI, is averaging 17.8 points and 3.3 assists through 21 games this season.
Toronto is on the first leg of a back-to-back. The Raptors are second, having won five of their last six games.
Turner was initially hurt on a dunk during Monday's 109-96 victory over Milwaukee but finished at the game. But this season, "with our new emphasis of shooting more threes", Casey said, "he's come to the part and is shooting the ball with confidence and conviction".