Raptors drop chippy Miami deal that could prove costly

Content of the article

MIAMI — It wasn’t much of a battle on the scoreboard for most of the night, but Game 1 of Toronto’s two-game stoppage at Miami had plenty of fighting elsewhere.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Previously winless, and that certainly played a part, the Miami Heat handled Toronto fairly easily on the field for most of the evening, but the talking point afterwards was the animosity that built up throughout the night. , culminating in a pair of ejections in an eventual 112-109 innings win.

Content of the article

In a somewhat odd case, and with the Heat in control up to 21 points, Caleb Martin and Raptors rookie Christian Koloko found himself tied up under the basket. Martin ended up taking Koloko to the second row of seats behind the basket, bringing in security personnel from both benches and a handful of coaches on the run to make sure nothing more happened.

Content of the article

As is usually the case with these basketball fights, nothing more happened. There just aren’t many Serge Ibaka left in the league who throw first and think later.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

It’s unclear exactly what Koloko did to Martin, who was clearly the aggressor, but the two were sent off after their altercation spilled over into the crowd.

Toronto responded by taking the game from 22 points to come within three at the buzzer, but never managed to regain a lead.

But there was a potentially greater cost to the game than just a loss for Toronto.

Scottie Barnes went to the locker room twice with injuries and didn’t finish the game.

Already back in the locker room for repairs earlier in the game with a left shoulder injury, Barnes only came back to roll his right ankle and when he left this time it was for good with the doctor of the Miami team called to assess the damage.

Jimmy Butler had a solid full game for the Heat, holding Pascal Siakam at 23 points and nine assists after his monster triple-double in Brooklyn while posting a record 25 in Miami.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Gary Trent Jr. and Siakam led Toronto in scoring with 23.

Both teams will have a day to reevaluate and start over Monday night here at the FTX Arena.

We apologize, but this video failed to load.


Anyone still unconvinced that Pascal Siakam has taken another step to another level in the NBA hierarchy is just not paying attention.

Siakam was awesome on the next level Friday night in Brooklyn. It was the No. 4 triple-double of his career and not just any triple-double but a 37-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist triple-double that even had Kyrie Irving suggesting he did it with such ease that it looks like it’s just going to become its new normal.

Head coach Nick Nurse has seen Siakam make progress every year he’s returned, with the possible exception of the first season post-COVID. That’s what he sees this time.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

« He plays both sides and he plays with incredible confidence, » Nurse said. « I think you see he had pretty much control over what he was doing on Friday night, if he was going to take the hit, drop it early, chase it, find the cutters, whatever it was, it didn’t matter. « Looks like he’s trying hard to figure out what’s going on. That, to me, just seems more seasoned, more experienced and he’s also bouncing back, so he’s playing a total game which to me is just awesome.


Rookie Christian Koloko, like many rookies, doesn’t benefit much from the whistle at first.

The Cameroon native, who is already well above his expectations for draft day, was asked ahead of the season the one thing he wanted to improve.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

His response was less rude.

Friday night in Brooklyn, he was whistled for five fouls, including at least three very questionable. His head coach came to his post-defense game.

« Christian was shot to death tonight, » Nurse said. “He had three clean blocks and they called a foul on all of them. They need to understand that he was one of the (best) shot blockers in the country last year and is now in the NBA. It is a very good shot blocker.

Siakam joked that maybe it’s just a Cameroonian thing when it comes to fouls as he always feels like he doesn’t benefit from the whistle.

« I still feel like a rookie, » he said, laughing at the absurdity of his own statement. “I still get calls, so I don’t know (laughs). This may not be a beginner’s trick.

Advertising 7

Content of the article

But Siakam knows from his own experience that sometimes those calls are just the result of trying to do too much when you don’t really need to oversell.

« It’s difficult because he’s such a presence for us there. » Siakam said. « I try to tell him not to reach for it and sometimes just having him there is enough. I feel like he’s good at blocking shots and he wants to block shots. I think you have to understand that sometimes his mere presence is enough and you just have to do the readings and see when to do it. Again, you can’t escape some of these calls. You need to push through and see what you can do better to not get those calls.

We apologize, but this video failed to load.


It’s still very early in the season, but the Raptors’ bench has been a bit disappointing.

Advertising 8

Content of the article

There are reasons for this, none greater than the fact that neither Otto Porter Jr. nor Chris Boucher have played in the regular season to date.

Their returns will solve much of the problem, but Nurse says the lack of impact from the bench is also partly on him.

« My first thought is that I have to give them a better chance, » he said somehow. « The games haven’t felt like there’s a chance yet to have them play together as a unit. Like you’ve seen a few starters come out and they come right back in, so we’re taking some time to get us on the bench in general. I have to give them a chance to understand.

  1. Gary Trent Jr. is determined to improve with the Raptors.

    Raptors’ Gary Trent Jr. has more to give, wait and see

  2. The Toronto Raptors shot Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half at Scotiabank Arena on October 19.

    STINSON: Toronto Raptors open with win and proof of the team they can be

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button