NBA Picks: Injury Setbacks Won't Disrupt Heat As They Face Weakened Raptors

Charles Stark

Monday, May 9, 2016 2:24 PM GMT

Monday, May. 9, 2016 2:24 PM GMT

With some injury issues for both teams there will be some adjustments when Toronto takes on Heat. Whiteside’s absence in game 3 was missed and Valanciunas is also out for Toronto. NBA pick inside.

NBA odds makers have made Miami around the same number favorite as game three at -5.5 like at Pinnacle Sports -103. The fact that Valanciunas is out will be an important aspect but for me the issue is whether or not Whiteside will play. I am anticipating he will play as he is listed just day to day so for one of my NBA picks I will back the Heat laying the points.

 

Toronto Raptors
In game three the Raptors shot 47% from the floor and over 44% from distance with Kyle Lowry going for 33 points. Toronto did a nice job getting into rhythm and getting out in front but for me the Heat died a little inside when Whiteside went out, more on that later. Valanciunas being out will not be a picnic for them as he has been a solid presence for most of the series so with him out I believe they will naturally struggle both offensively and defensively in the interior. 

Toronto was simply way more efficient and made clutch basket after clutch basket especially from Lowry and they were good at protecting the basketball with only 13 turnovers that led to just 10 Miami points. Defensively they were also much better all-around limiting the Heat to some really low percentages from the inside out but this might also be attributed to just some really poor shooting by Miami. Another key aspect was that the won the battle of the glass 47-44, but without one of their key players and the possibility of Whiteside back I doubt they will repeat this tonight.

 

Miami Heat
In game three the Heat shot just 43% from the floor and 22% from distance but only had 10 turnovers. This game all around was really bogged down with both teams not really moving the ball and using a lot of isolation plays, especially Miami that only had 11 assists on the night. As mentioned, losing Whiteside so early in the game was huge for them on the defensive end. He has been killing it on the glass so it is not surprising that in game three Toronto had more rebounds than them. 

Also, defensively his presence in the middle is a game changer making things difficult in the paint extended. If you had to remove one person from this team in order to change their entire makeup it would be him. Tonight however, although it is not definite I believe he will play but in either case I think there is good value on backing the home team who should play better on both sides of the ball. Don’t expect Toronto to shoot at those high percentages and expect the Heat to actually reverse that trend and win this game by double digits.

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Free NBA Pick: Miami -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

 

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