HEAT Aim To Bounce Back Against Blazers

Duncan Robinson
Photo Credit: Brian Babineau
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The HEAT’s road trip out west hasn’t quite gone to plan thus far, but it looks like reinforcements are on the way.

After attending shootaround on Friday and participating in practice on Saturday, Miami’s newest members in Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill will be available Sunday night in Portland. And with the shorthanded HEAT struggling a bit of late, those guys will certainly help.

Despite the team’s trials, however, both Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson have been rather effective. Adebayo has done damage on keepers and rolls to the rim, while Robinson has moved well off the ball and continued to show good chemistry with the big fella on dribble handoffs.

Of course, we also can’t forget about KZ Okpala, who took advantage of some extended playing time on Friday and wreaked havoc at the top of the zone with Derrick Jones Jr.

Simply put, Miami will need everyone to be sharp against a Blazers team that has fought their way back into playoff contention. And as you’d expect, Damian Lillard has been the key to it all.

Seriously, just wait until you read these numbers.

Over the past 11 games, Lillard is averaging 40.9 points, 9.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest on 51.2 percent shooting from the field, including 50.4 percent from deep.

That’s just otherworldly.

In the HEAT’s last matchup with the Blazers on Jan. 5, the squad was able to mitigate Lillard’s scoring with a balanced attack led by Goran Dragić, Adebayo and Jones Jr. and came away with a win.

We’ll see what transpires this time around.

INJURY/STATUS REPORT:

For Miami, Kyle Alexander (Right Knee; Hyperextended & PCL Sprain), Jimmy Butler (Right Shoulder Strain), Tyler Herro (Right Ankle Soreness) and Meyers Leonard (Left Ankle Sprain) are out.

For Portland, Moses Brown (G League - Two-Way), Zach Collins (Left Shoulder Dislocation), Jaylen Hoard (G League - Two-Way), Rodney Hood (Left Achilles Tendon Rupture), Nassir Little (Left Ankle Sprain) and Jusuf Nurkić (Left Leg Fracture) are out. Anfernee Simons (Concussion) is doubtful, while Hassan Whiteside (Left Leg Contusion) is probable.

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