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GAME PREVIEW: Heat look to end losing, host Blazers

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The Heat are hoping to avoid a 5th straight loss and fall under .500 when they host the Blazers.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (22-22) are in desperate need of a win. They’ve lost four straight games, three of them at home and with another, will drop below .500 and potentially a few spots down the East ladder.

Their opponent tonight: Derrick Jones Jr. and the Portland Trailblazers (25-18). Although the Blazers have lost two in a row, they are a tough matchup for the Heat. With Damian Lillard (30.1 PPG — 2nd in NBA) and CJ McCollum in the backcourt, they have the tools to give the Heat serious headaches. On top of that, Carmelo Anthony is now coming off the bench and they start Enes Kanter who somehow feasted on the Heat last season in the Eastern Conference Finals.

As we put this preview together, we aren’t sure what Miami is putting out on the floor, with the NBA’s trade deadline at 3 PM, a lot could change between this preview and what we have tonight. Regardless, Miami will have to slow down the iso-heavy Blazers.

The Blazers are the worst ball-moving teams in the league with only 20 APG — that should help the Heat’s sinking defense. And Portland is also one of the league’s worst defensive teams, giving up 115+ PPG — that should help Miami’s struggling offense...although Portland isn’t going to make three-pointers for us!

This game is on national television — TNT.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 66% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS BLAZERS: THURSDAY, MARCH 25 AT 7:30 PM.

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Avery Bradley: questionable (calf)
  • Udonis Haslem: out (health and safety protocols)
  • KZ Okpala: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Goran Dragic: questionable (back)

PORTLAND:

  • Jusuf Nurkic: out (wrist)
  • Zach Collins: out (ankle)
  • Nassir Little: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Anfernee Simons: out (health and safety protocols)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Magic Position Heat
Magic Position Heat
Cole Anthony PG Kyle Lowry
Jalen Suggs SG Duncan Robinson
Franz Wagner SF Jimmy Butler
Wendell Carter Jr. PF PJ Tucker
Mo Bamba C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: TNT, FOX SPORTS SUN
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!