At the time they weren’t online betting favorites (the tables have turned, though), so it was a surprise when the Miami Heat figuratively drew first blood by winning game 1 of their series versus the Raptors at Toronto. Who would have thought, thought, that the Raptors would draw literal blood in game2? It was an accident, of course – DeMar DeRozan brought his elbow up and busted Goran Dragic lip. Or maybe it was Dragic who brought his head down in the way of DeRozan’s elbow; he does have a weird tendency to get his front tooth knocked out – the string and doorknob method may not be well known in Slovenia.
Still, Dragic’s bloody mug is the perfect illustration of the Raptors’ game play; ugly but, hmmm, effective? They did win the game and tied the series 1-1, but it almost seems as if they won in spite, and not because of DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Both have shown glimpses of what brung them to the dance during the regular season, such as Lowry’s a 50-feet overtime-forcing shot in game 1, but a couple of late jumpers does not make up for 47 minutes of making it seem as if he’s playing a different sport than everybody else on the court. After game 1, Lowry stayed well after midnight shooting in a dimly-lit practice court. May be they should dim the lights during actual games as well.
As for DeRozan, giving Dragic eight stitches was the most notable thing he did during game 2. Other than that, he shot 9 of 24 from the field, and 2 of 8 from the free-throw line, including missing two with the score 80-80 with a minute to go in the last quarter to the incredulity of the fans and people betting on basketball alike. The true Toronto heroes were Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll, but that’s nothing new at this point. The Raptors are like an old British movie in which Sherlock Holmes was a bumbling fool and Dr. Watson was really the smart one.
Nasty game play notwithstanding, Miami’s Dwayne Wade gave the Raptors credit, saying that “they won the game in a sense.” Actually, Dwayne, they won the game in all senses of the word. But if what he means is that Toronto didn’t win, it was the Heat that lost, then he’s absolutely right. There are no two ways about it; Miami dropped the ball. In fact, they have dropped many balls – 109 balls in the last seven post-season games, to be exact, including 41 turnovers over two games against the Raptors. All things considered, I hope Toronto makes it to the NBA Finals and faces the San Antonio Spurs there, and not for the sake of online betting, but so that DeRozan has a chance to give Tony Parker – by the way, good for him reverting to his maiden name after the divorce – a much deserved facelift.