The last time the Miami Heat were preparing to play the L.A. Clippers, they had won 21 of their previous 22 games and were becoming one of the scariest teams to face in the NBA. We all knew that things with the Heat were still a work in progress but they were certainly taking steps in the right direction. Something changed that night in Los Angeles though, and the Heat would be tested both in the short term and long term.
The first dominoes to fall were the 44 points that Miami gave up in the 1st quarter. Later that night LeBron James suffered an ankle injury that would keep him out for a couple games. The Heat lost by 6 to L.A. and would go on to drop 5 of their next 6 overall. LeBron would miss 2 of those 6 games and Chris Bosh would miss 3 of the 6, both dealing with ankle injuries.
Miami has gotten things back on track lately. All of the Big 3 are healthy and working hard to get back into their groove. LeBron James has shown no ill effects of his ankle injury since returning, averaging 32.2 points, 8.3 boards and 8.1 assists while picking up 5 double doubles in 8 games. He also dropped 51 points on division rival Orlando last Thursday.
It hasn't been quite as easy for Chris Bosh since making his return to the lineup, but just having him out there is of great benefit to the Heat. In the 4 games he's played, Bosh is shooting 41.5% (22-of-53), averaging 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds. It wont be long before he gets his rhythm back and starts drilling those long-rage J's. Overall the Heat have done quite well in the 4 games since Bosh returned, averaging 109.5 points on 51.4% shooting.
- Chris Bosh is averaging 26.1 points over his last 11 games against the Clippers.
- The Clippers are 3-5 in their last 8 games and have lost 5 straight on the road.
- Super-rookie Blake Griffin has recorded a double double in 35 of his last 36 games.
- Los Angeles is 0-15 on the road when giving up at least 100 points. Miami averages 103.0 points per game at home.
- The Heat has lost 6 of their last 9 to the Clippers.
- Udonis Haslem (foot) remains out for the Heat.
- For the Clippers, Chris Kaman (ankle) and Craig Smith (back) are out while Eric Gordon (wrist) is doubtful.
Tipoff from the AAA is set for high noon (12pm)...thank god. I'll be there covering the game and only volunteered because I knew I'd be home in time for the Super Bowl. Have a great Sunday everyone!