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NBA Playoff Preview: Heat at Raptors

The Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors has arguably been the most competitive series of the 2016 Playoffs. Through four games, three have gone into overtime. The dynamic of the series has changed dramatically with the injuries of Hassan Whiteside and Jonas Valanciunas, and Dwyane Wade has reincarnated to the player he was before all of his knee and shoulder injuries. Head coach Erik Spoelstra says his team we’ll do just about anything to gain an upper hand.

Heat fans have not seen this level of greatness from Wade since about 2009. Injuries have hindered him over the years but it seems like he has been healthier than ever. Wade combined for 68 points in the past two games and does not show any signs of slowing down. That is good news for Miami who will be without Hassan Whiteside, who did not travel with the team to Toronto. Forward Luol Deng will do whatever his fellow teammates need him to do in Whiteside’s absence.

The Raptors have to deal with a major injury as well. With the inconsistencies from Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas was a force to be reckoned with in the paint in the first three games before suffering a leg injury. Now, the result for Toronto is going to be solely based on Lowry’s and DeRozan’s performance.

Tipoff tonight is set for 8 p.m. from Toronto.

About Fernando Juncadella

Senior at the University of Florida. Working at ESPN Gainesville for four years, covering Florida football, softball, and baseball.

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