After the 2011 NBA summer free agency brought Chris Bosh and LeBron James to the Miami Heat, Cleveland burned LeBron’s number-23 jersey in the streets. Torontonians, meanwhile, were resigned to say goodbye to Bosh, yet another superstar lost to a team within America’s borders. Not that it was much of a surprise. Sure, Toronto’s a great place to play — if you’re an NBA superstar who doesn’t mind high taxes, frigid weather, and consistently missing the playoffs.
After Bosh’s departure, the Toronto Raptors find themselves yet again in the lower echelon of NBA standings, making a beeline for a middle-of-the-pack lottery pick. This year’s team doesn’t feature even a 20-point-per-game scorer. They’re making do with high-flying DeMar DeRozen, a young player with some potential, and Houston Rockets import Kyle Lowry. Still, Toronto is showing few signs of life.
Unfortunately, this 2013 season has been all about the Miami Heat playing down to its competition. Chances are it’ll be an unnecessarily close game, especially since it’s the Heat’s first game home after a six-game road trip. The two meet at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m., 2013