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Game #25: Portland Trail Blazers (16-12) vs. Miami Heat (13-11)

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The main question that I'm pondering about tonight's Heat game is ‘which Heat team will show up?'  While I'd like to sit here and show my full confidence that the squad that's won two straight games in convincing fashion is for real...unfortunately I'm just not at the point yet.  It's absolutely possible, with the talent on this roster for the Heat to be just as scary to play as the Boston's and Orlando's.  But those teams have both the talent and the consistency, the latter of which being the elusive factor for the Heat in their up and down season. 

A lot of focus tonight will be on Dwyane Wade, but not for the usual ‘he's amazing' reasons.  Wade has been battling through injuries for most of the season, with his recent wrist problems being added to by a now sore back.  He was limited in practice yesterday after suffering from some upper back spasms, but despite everything Wade is still ranked 5th in the NBA in scoring and is fully expected to be in the lineup tonight. 

Portland is coming off of a 9-point loss in Orlando last night in which they battled hard for 3+ quarters, but in a surprising defensive battle against the offensive-minded Magic, the Blazers could only muster 18 4th quarter points after the game was tied at 65 heading into the final period.  Portland is having a tough time but it's understandable with several of their key players out with injuries; Greg Oden, Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez are all on the shelf. 

GAME NOTES

  • In the last 5 games Dorell Wright has shot 58% and averaged 13.2 ppg. 
  • Portland has lost 7 of their last 8 games away from home. 
  • Michael Beasley led the way with 27 points in the 107-100 Heat win in Portland on 12/1/09, and Beas has averaged 25 points in his last two games. 
  • LaMarcus Aldridge missed the first game between these teams, but he'll be in the lineup tonight. 
  • Including Thursday's win over Orlando, the Heat have won 21-straight games when shooting 50% from the field. 
  • This is the 5th game of the Heat's 6-game homestand.  After dropping the first 2 games, they have drawn even at 2-2. 

For the second straight week the Heat will play a late afternoon game at home.  Tipoff from the AAA is set for 6pm.