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Portland Looks to Rise to the Challenge as They Face Miami on the Road - Pinwheel Empire

Portland Looks to Rise to the Challenge as They Face Miami on the Road

submitted 4 years ago by in Game Preview

Team Records: Portland (45-25) at Miami (47-21)

Game Info: 4:30 p.m., TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM

Vegas Line: Miami -6

Refs: Jason Phillips, Brent Barnaky, Eric Lewis


The Skinny: Since they didn’t show up on Saturday in Charlotte the Blazers should have plenty left to take on the defending champion Miami Heat Monday on the road.  The Heat have been very up and down as of late, coasting more than a little bit as they near the end of the regular season.  Miami has won only four of their last eleven games overall and is coming off a road loss in New Orleans in their last game on Saturday.


Last Time They Met: Chris Bosh hit a 3 with less than a second left to give a Lebron-less Miami team a one point win in Portland in a thrilling game back in late December.


Projected Heat Lineup:

PF: Chris Bosh (Georgia Tech-11th Season) – 16.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.1 APG

SF: LeBron James (St. Vincent-St. Mary’s (HS)-11th season) – 26.8 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 6.5 APG

C: Greg Oden (Ohio State-3rd Season) – 3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, .1 APG

SG: Dwayne Wade (Marquette-11th season) – 19.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.9 APG

PG: Mario Chalmers (Kansas-6th season) – 9.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 5.1 APG


Chris Bosh

Image Courtesy of the Miami Herald

Player to Watch:  Chris Bosh (pictured at right) – Ridicule him all you want, make fun of his crying or his weird faces or his strangely inexplicable bad plays but the fact remains that Chris Bosh is one hell of a player on both ends of the court.  Bosh is an excellent mid-range jump shooter with the ability to drive and even hit a 3 or two.  However what really makes him stand out is his defense.  Bosh has superior defensive instincts and abilities.  Time and time again in Miami’s win over Portland in December he made defensive plays few players would see let alone pull off.  Without those plays Miami doesn’t even have a chance to win the game late.  Bottom line, Bosh might be the least heralded member of the big three but he is pretty darn good in his own right.


Did You Know?: Ray Allen is just two 3 pointers short of 100 made this season, which would mark his NBA record 17th straight year with 100 or more threes made.


Song of the Day: “Miami” by Will Smith-Yes this song isn’t my favorite but to me it symbolizes Miami.  Showy, multicultural and far more concerned with style than substance.  Enjoy:

Injury Updates:

Portland: Out – PF/C Joel Freeland (Knee), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (Back)

Miami: None


Re-Evaluating Miami: Don’t Sweat the Struggles

Yes Miami is struggling as of late (4-7 in their last 11) and they often struggle even in wins against lesser teams.  This is no reason to worry, however, as Miami knows they will be either the #1 or #2 seed in the east, they can win on the road in the playoffs and there is no reason to push themselves harder than need be before the real season (the playoffs) begins.  Miami is still as deadly as ever and even with their struggles that doesn’t change that.  Come mid-April they will be crushing teams as they always seem to and likely cruising towards their fourth-straight NBA finals, with only the Pacers likely to pose any sort of threat to Miami’s eastern supremacy.


The Bottom Line:

Portland wins if: They limit Miami’s scoring outside Bosh, Wade and James.  Miami’s big three is good enough to win on their own but they are damn near impossible to stop if they get help from the rest of their team on offense.  Portland will have to hope to keep the rest of Miami’s team off the score sheet and take their chances with making the big three beat them on their own.

Miami wins if: They make Portland play sloppy.  If the Blazers play as sloppy as they have at times as of late, Miami will be sure they are punished for it and will probably win fairly easily.

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skywaker9 (David) is a Portland native and passionate Blazers fan. He currently works as a University fiscal analyst for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. He also has a PhD in Public Affairs and Policy at Portland State University. David is a former political activist who chose to focus on sports because they made him happy. He primarily writes previews for PWE and one of his primary goals is to inform Blazer fans everywhere about those players on other teams they may not have heard of but should (such as Nikola Vucevic).