There's a nice break for the Heat to start this week. After losing 4 of their past 5 games, the extra practice should be useful for the Heat to get things together. Why? Because, on Wednesday night they will depart Miami for a 5-game road trip, all out West.
Here's a preview of the short week.
Miami @ Portland
DETAILS: Thursday, 10:30 PM EST
The Blazers will be only one day less rest than the Heat, as they will host the Lakers on Monday night. But Portland has been on a tear. They are 26-8 on the season, and have been impressive. This will be a nationally televised game on TNT, and so we hope the Heat show up and play. But it won't be easy.
Miami's biggest concern will be Damian Lillard. Point guards often get the best of the Heat and Lillard will probably have his way. LaMarcus Aldridge will be a lot to handle as well. Portland is a long team with Wesley Matthews and Batum on the wings, so Miami has to control the ball and not have turnover issues. This will be a tough game to get, but maybe the Nets win was a turn and a new focus will come out.
FanDuel Advice: This is a tough game to grab from. I don't like Wade in this game because of the defensive capabilities the Blazers can throw at him. Really, I think the best grab is Damian Lillard, he could end up with 25-10-5.
Miami @ L.A. Clippers
DETAILS: Sunday, 3:30 PM EST
The Clippers will be coming off a back-to-back home daytime games. With these games starting 12:30 local time, L.A. hosts Dallas the day before Miami visits. The Clippers dominated the Heat in Miami earlier this year 110-93. That game saw Blake Griffin go off from the perimeter, something he is much better at. This again, will be a tough test for the Heat.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the big concerns for Miami. The rest of the roster are just roll players who fit their system well. And they have Jamal Crawford, a known Heat killer. Maybe Danny Granger can give some insights into how to beat them, but probably not. If the Heat can slow Paul's pick and roll play, they have a chance. If not, it will be over before the Heat have the chance to fall apart in the third quarter.
FanDuel Advice: Given how well the Clippers beat the Heat in Miami, it's hard to imagine at this point in the season the Heat will be able to keep this close. This would be a good game for Jamal Crawford because it's likely the game will get out of reach and the bench will have more minutes.
I'm not being very positive for the Heat week am I?
Disclosure: Remember, even though FanDuel sponsors this post, all the opinions and insights are my own. FanDuel has given me a little bit of money to start playing already.
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