Miami, which made it to the NBA Finals last year after bonding in the playoff bubble, has won three straight games, all on the road. "It felt like the bubble again where we got a chance to be cohesive," Heat center Bam Adebayo said of Miami's win streak. "When we're at home, we can't really hang out with each other.
A lot of the recent improvement can be pinned on the return of Jimmy Butler, who’s only played in 19 of the team’s 31 games; Miami is just 3-9 (including a win against the Raptors) without Butler in the lineup compared to 11-8 with him. The Heat, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, also had the quickest turnaround in league history from one season to the next. Early season fatigue was surely a factor in the slow start.
Kyle Lowry leads the Raptors averaging 3.6. The teams meet for the third time this season. The Raptors won 101-81 in the last matchup on Jan. 22.