HHH Gametime Preview: Injuries loom over Heat showdown vs Trail Blazers

USA TODAY Sports Images

LeBron James strained his groin last night, and is questionable for tonight.

The Miami Heat lost a very winnable game Friday night, blowing a 17-point lead early and making several uncharacteristic miscues in the fourth quarter in a 108-103 decision in Sacramento. And the Heat have a marquee matchup today, playing the West-leading Portland Trail Blazers in the Rose Garden.

Unlike subpar teams, Miami tends to get up to play the league's best. But unfortunately, the Heat may be yet again shorthanded.

LeBron James strained his groin in the second quarter of Miami's loss to the Kings, and he visibly limped in the closing seconds of the overtime period. His status for tonight's game is questionable. The Heat were also without Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and Chris Andersen last night. One would expect Wade to return -- who has been held out of all but one set of back-to-backs this season -- and Allen and Andersen have minor injuries.

James has not missed a game this year, and he may decide that this late December game means little in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, he could decide that he will only play in Portland once, and many of them want to see him play (it's been James' own justification for playing before).

Depending on James' availability, Miami's game plan is up in the air. But it will be interesting to see if Shane Battier starts defending the opponent's power forward -- in this case, LaMarcus Aldridge -- tonight. Erik Spoelstra may have to use the Chris Bosh/Chris Andersen tandem again tonight to match up with Aldridge and Robin Lopez. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole will again have their hands full with sophomore sensation Damian Lillard, one of the most exciting young guards in the NBA. And Miami will have to keep former player Dorell Wright in mind, who comes off the bench for Portland.

Depending on who is available to suit up, the Heat could essentially rely on its bench or put together its team at full stretch. We'll see shortly before the 10 o'clock tip.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Hot Hot Hoops

You must be a member of Hot Hot Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Hot Hoops. You should read them.

Join Hot Hot Hoops

You must be a member of Hot Hot Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Hot Hoops. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker