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Heat, Raptors combine for lowest assist average in any series since 2006

Nick Turchiaro / USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference semifinal between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat is finally (some would say mercifully) over, with the Raptors decisively dispatching the Heat in Game 7 on Sunday.

And so ends the series that forced fans to reach deep into their lexicons in search of new synonyms for "ugly."

The plodding, low-scoring, grind-it-out affair featured countless aimless offensive sets that devolved into late-clock desperation heaves. It went heavy on isolations and light on ball movement. And it ended with the two teams averaging fewer combined assists than any teams in any playoff series in the past decade.

The Raptors averaged 14.8 assists per game in the series, and the Heat averaged 13.6, for a combined average of 28.4.

You have to go all the way back to the 2006 Western Conference semifinal between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs to find a series so averse to helpers. Those teams combined for 26.7 assists in a seven-game epic that nobody would ever mistake for the Heat-Raptors slog.

The Mavs survived that series before going on to the Finals, where they'd lose to the Heat. The Raptors are moving on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers, who likely won't be as forgiving.

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