Lillard has missed the last four games, nursing a calf strain, an injury he suffered against those same Heat in a game a week-and-a-half ago. Lillard mentioned at that time that if it were a postseason game, he would’ve been able to play through it, signifying that it wasn’t a long-term worry.
In the absence of their longtime leader, the Blazers kept the ship steady, going an even 2-2 over the four-game stretch, including two Western Conference wins over the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets.
In doing so, they had overcome the loss of a significant offensive threat; in the five games Lillard has played this season, he’s averaged 31.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game on 50-39-93 percentage splits. The Blazers-Heat game tips off tonight at 5:30 Pacific Time.