Zharita May Dimaculangan
EBC Canada Bureau
TORONTO, Ontario (Eagle News) – On Sunday afternoon, the Toronto Raptors played their penultimate game of the regular season against the Miami Heat. With their 117-109 overtime win, the Raptors were able to sweep the Heat through their four-game season series, putting a damper on what might be Dwayne Wade’s last dance in the Six.
Pascal Siakam led his team with 23 points while shooting an impressive 80% from the field. Alongside Siakam, Norman Powell, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard were able to contribute a combined 66 points in order to overcome the desperate Heat, who are vying for a playoff spot in the East.
Though it was a home game for the Raptors, the Toronto crowd couldn’t help but pay homage to Wade. Variations of Wade’s jersey was sprinkled around the arena as fans said their goodbyes, knowing it may be the last time they see the 13-time All-Star play at the Scotiabank Arena. Wade had announced his retirement before the season through a YouTube video stating that he was coming back for a final season for ‘one last dance.’ Since then, teams around the league have shown their respect for Wade and what he has meant to this game.
Wade has always brought his best against the Raptors, averaging 20 points per game, shooting 55.2% from the field and 42.9% from three and Sunday’s game was no different. Wade scored 21 points, where he went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and shot 50% from the field. But despite Wade’s best effort and forcing the overtime, it was the Raptors dominant performance in the extra five minutes that secured the win. The Raptors outscored the Heat 14-6 in overtime, putting the Heat 1.5 games back from a playoff spot.
Wade spoke about the emotions that he will be feeling when he steps foot on the court for his final game at American Airlines Arena in Miami Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“[No] I’ve never been in this situation before, I know my family is going to be there. I’m just looking forward to it, [closing] a chapter.”
And what a chapter it has been for Wade. In his 17 seasons, Wade was named Finals MVP in 2006 and All-Star MVP in 2010. He has been chosen to represent his team as an All-Star 13 times and has made various All-League teams throughout his playing career. This list is just a small fraction of the accomplishments made by Wade during his tenure in the NBA, which makes him one of the most beloved players all over the world.
As for the Raptors, they will travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Timberwolves for their final game of the regular season. With seeds six through eight constantly changing day-by-day, the Raptors’ first round opponent is still unknown. The Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons will continue fighting to stay within the last three teams of the Eastern Conference, which will determine who the Raptors will meet come post-season tip-off.
(Eagle News Service)