Miami Heat Stat Monkey Brief: Heat/Raptors (2/3/13)

Will the Heat stay hot North of the border?

Tough Matchup

Miami might want to go ahead and be concerned with a potential second round threat in the Pacers. Not only did they just lose to them due to an absolute beating on the boards for the second time this year, but this team also gave them fits in last year’s playoffs. The Heat have one more matchup this year against the Pacers, and they should play with their lineups against this particular squad to try to mitigate the extreme rebounding advantage if they hope to be ready for them in the playoffs.

New Look Raptors

In a recent three team trade, the Raptors acquired Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi by giving up Ed Davis and Jose Calderon. By our nERD rankings, these players score -2.4, -0.3, 3.3, and 4.5 respectively. This means that by our metric, they exchanged two guys who are playing at a level above league average for two guys playing below it. To be fair, Kyle Lowry’s return means that Jose Calderon and the rest of his 10.5 million dollar salary this year are less valuable to Toronto.

This is hardly a good value though, as they’ve taken on 2 years and 37 million dollars of contract after this year for Rudy Gay, who is in the midst of a career worst season shooting from the floor with an effective field goal percentage of 44.1 percent and who, despite his athletic talent, is far from an elite defensive player as the Grizzlies gave up only 0.6 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the court than off it. Strong work Hollinger.

Today’s Game

Why bother getting ready for the Super Bowl when the Raptors are playing? For the six of you who are thinking about anything other than football today, tonight’s game does not look good for the Raptors. They are among the worst teams in the league defensively, allowing 108.1 points per 100 possessions and are barely above average offensively, scoring 106.5 points per 100 possessions. The Raptors are nothing special on the glass and foul more frequently than any team in the league. The one thing they do well, avoid turnovers, will likely not be enough to overcome the tremendous offense force that is Miami.