TORONTO - Miami’s pair of Canadian big men know the degree of passion Toronto’s fans bring to the table, but, still, they weren’t expecting the level of vitriol they experienced previously in Cleveland for Wednesday’s game.
“I don’t think it will be quite on that level, that was really a crazy, hostile environment, nobody had ever seen anything like that,” said Montreal’s Joel Anthony of the return of LeBron James to Cleveland.
“Ever since I’ve been in the league coming into Toronto all the games have been a great atmosphere (and) obviously this game will be that much bigger (but) we have a lot of veterans but nobody had ever seen an atmosphere quite like (Cleveland).”
The prediction proved correct as the Toronto crowd was indeed jacked up, but nowhere close to as angry as the seething sellout throng in Cleveland was. It didn’t help in that game that the Heat steamrolled the hapless Cavs.
While there might have been some trepidation before the Cleveland tilt, that wasn’t the case on Wednesday for the Toronto game.
“Talking to my teammates for the last few days, we’re looking forward to it,” said Toronto native Jamaal Magloire pre-game. “We have to play hard for our brother, which is Chris Bosh. It’s fun, this is what it’s all about.
“Every house that we go into we get looked at as public enemy No. 1, it’s something we’ve embraced.”
The two Canadians got even more attention from the media than usual, leading veteran Juwan Howard to remark about Magloire: “Toronto’s finest.”
A title that once belonged to Bosh.