Portland Trail Blazers (31-21) vs. Miami Heat (27-25)
The Portland Trail Blazers take on the Miami Heat at the Moda Center following a win over the Detroit Pistons 118-103. The Heat arrive in Portland after a win at home over the Los Angeles Lakers 110-104. Jusuf Nurkic will be retaking the court for the Trail Blazers, while the Heat are missing guard Victor Oladipo, who did not join the Heat on thier road trip following a knee injury in the Lakers matchup.
Sunday, April 11 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA TV, NBA League Pass or see games all season on fuboTV
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out)
Heat injuries: Victor Oladipo (out), KZ Okpala (out), Tyler Herro (questionable), Gabe Vincent (probable)
SBN Affiliate: Hot Hot Hoops
What To Watch For
- Jusuf Nurkic. The Bosnian Beast returns to the lineup after missing the contest against the Pistons due to injury management, following some swelling in his knee. Notably, he is returning after teammate Enes Kanter had a franchise-record 30 rebounds. Look for some friendly competition amidst the Blazers big men where the five is concerned.
- Injuries. Finally, we’re not the team missing large parts of our starting lineup. As of this writing, it is unknown whether Tyler Herro will be able to pick up the slack for the missing Victor Oladipo as he is questionable with an injury to his foot. For the Blazers, only one man is still out: Zach Collins. It is a refreshing change, to say the least, but the Heat still have Jimmy Butler, who is a consistent threat.
- Defense. We’ve got to play some, sometime. Really. The Blazers need to close out on the perimeter more consistently, and they have to do a better job of cutting off lanes from inside by dropping back. With Jusuf Nurkic back on the floor, there should be some improvement, and Nassir Little has been improving.
What Others Are Saying
Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops notes that the Heat are banged up at the moment.
Tonight will be the first game in a tough four-game road trip with the Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves next for the Heat. This would have been a great showcase for Victor Oladipo, but he won’t be traveling with the team on the trip as the team gathers more information on the extent of the knee injury he suffered in the closing moments of their win against the Lakers.
Miami could certainly use Tyler Herro with Oladipo out, but there remains to be seen if he will be available due to a foot injury. He remains questionable for tonight due to right foot soreness, with Gabe Vincent (knee) probable.
Over at the Miami Herald, Anthony Chiang says that Dewayne Dedmon is ready to step up.
“I’ve come off the bench, I’ve started, I’ve not played,” said Dedmon, who signed with the Heat on Thursday as a free agent. “I’ve done it all. So I’m here, I’m prepared, I’m ready. Whatever coach needs me to do, I’m ready for it, whether it be five minutes, 12 minutes, 50 minutes, whatever.”