Portland Trail Blazers 104, Miami Heat 96

I hate to fall on cliches, but here goes: it is what it is.

Portland was bigger, more talented, and deeper than the Heat. Dwyane Wade was the best player on the court, winning the battle of stars over a hampered Brandon Roy, and Michael Beasley played LaMarcus Aldridge to a draw (though I know they weren't guarding each other much). But there were just too many things to overcome: Miami doesn't have a player like Rudy Fernandez coming off its bench, and its roster of bigs is just a physical level below the Blazers. Udonis Haslem held his own before succumbing. Mario Chalmers learned that even a guy like Steve Blake, not exactly a matchup you circle on your calendar, is a handful.

The numbers really say it all: Miami's 17 turnovers to Portland's 12; Miami's 7 offensive rebounds to Portland's 12. Miami played at a high level for a long time, but not high enough and not long enough. The Blazers were and are a better team.

A few other things: It's apparent that Shawn Marion's value to the team is in trade, not in uniform...the trend of Joel Anthony getting the first backup minutes is encouraging...Chris Quinn might have sealed Marcus Banks' fate...Wade is an absolute mother. God I love that dude...I'm starting to question how effectively Beasley can rebound at power forward; I'm kind of starting to see him as a small forward if Marion is moved for a center and Haslem shifts to power forward....I'll ask again: please don't start Yakhouba Diawara ever again. He can help, but let's not get carried away.

 

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