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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Miami Heat Preview

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The Blazers take on the Heat on trade deadline day.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (25-18) vs Miami Heat (22-22)

The Portland Trail Blazers leave Portland with a sour taste in their collective mouths after their less than ideal performance against the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets. Let’s hope the South Beach sun can reinvigorate the squad, which could potentially look a little different following today’s trade deadline.

Thursday, March 25 - 4:30 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: TNT, NBCSNW, NBA League Pass or see games all season on fuboTV Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Anfernee Simons (questionable), Nassir Little (questionable), Gary Trent Jr. (traded), Rodney Hood (traded)
Heat injuries: Jimmy Butler (out), Goran Dragic (out), KZ Okpala (out), Udonis Haslem (out), Avery Bradley (traded), Kelly Olynyk (traded), Moe Harkless (traded), Chris Silva (traded)
SBN Affiliate: Hot Hot Hoops

UPDATE

Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic are out.

What To Watch For

  • Who’s still here. This preview will go live before this afternoon’s 12pm trade deadline. Who will the Blazers be welcoming into the squad and who will be saying goodbye before tip off? More to this, with all the trades the Heat are being rumored to be involved in, will they be able to field a competent team as they ship player(s) out?
  • Defense. You cannot give up the number of points the Blazers have recently been conceding and expect to be in contention for anything. While Jusuf Nurkic will hopefully be an important defensive addition next week, it’s a little concerning that opposing teams consistently seem to find their shooting stoke against the Blazers.
  • Lob City. Is it me or was Derrick Jones Jr. taking flight a little more frequently against the Nets on Tuesday? Has there been a lob mandate from Terry Stotts? I mean, why not. The Blazers boast one of the NBA’s best leapers so it makes sense you utilize that more regularly for easy points.

What Others Are Saying

Matt Hanifan at Hot Hot Hoops highlights the impact that former Blazer Trevor Ariza brings to the rising Miami team.

“Though he hasn’t played in over a year, the 3-and-D forward can still guard multiple positions and features a 7-foot-2 wingspan to compensate for his declining mobility. He has averaged 1.4 steals over the last three seasons, including 1.3 per game last year. Ariza is another lengthy, switchable forward that adds versatility to Miami’s defensive scheme — spearheaded by Butler, Iguodala and Bam Adebayo, their three defensive stalwarts.”

Like the Blazers, the Heat have had a rough few games writes Shandel Richardson of Sports Illustrated.

“The Heat lost to the Phoenix Suns 110-100 Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. It was their fourth straight defeat and also dropped them back to .500.”

“We will keep plugging away until we find the right solutions,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We are certainly better than what we have shown the last four games on the offensive end. We are going through a tough stretch offensively. We will work together to find some solutions.”