Game 16 Preview: Heat vs. Blazers

Here's the second of two teams coming into the Rose Garden looking to avenge losses at their place.  We played the Heat exactly two weeks ago and not much has changed since then.  They come into the game 7-7 instead of 4-3.  Dwyane Wade is still ripping up the league to the tune of 28.5 points, 7.6 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game with a 49% shooting clip.  The Heat still own a muscular turnover differential versus their opponents.  They still aren't rebounding well or defending the perimeter.  Michael Beasley has fallen off of his great start...that's about the biggest news at this point.  To make things sporting, the Heat are even playing without Shawn Marion, just as they did two weeks ago.  (Unfortuntately Marion is attending a funeral, link via PeninsulaIsMightier.) 

If you want the full preview, click here.  The short version of the keys to the game are:

--Wade scoring huge is inevitable but it's not the worst thing ever.  Lock down on everybody else and they won't generate enough points.

--Points off of turnovers will be a huge stat.  We can't get blown away.

--As always rebound hard and get back in transition.

--Force the Heat to shoot outside.

This game will be even harder than the Sacramento contest on Monday.  Let's hope the Blazers come out focused and energized.  It would be awfully easy to fall into the trap of thinking that home court wins are automatic, or even easier.  That would be a mistake.  Did the team learn that lesson Monday or do they need a more painful example?

Click on the PeninsulaIsMightier link above for the latest Heat coverage.

You can fill out the Jersey Contest form for this game here.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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