NBA 2018-19: Predicted Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Miami Heat vs Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers (32-20) vs Miami Heat (24-27), Week 17
February 5th 2018, Tuesday 9:00 am IST
Moda Center, Portland, OR
Head to head (Regular Season):
Matches played: 60 games
Miami Heat won: 21 games
Portland Trail Blazers won: 39 games
Last game played: Miami Heat beat the Trail Blazers, 120-111
The Miami Heat travel to take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center in Portland. The Portland Trail Blazers are cruising this season and are at the 4th spot in the Western Conference, with a 32-20 record, having won 7 of their last 10 matches and currently being on a 3 game winning streak.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, are having a topsy-turvy season and are 8th in the Eastern Conference. They have won just 3 of their last 10 games and have a 24-27 record this season. To make matters worse, they are on a 3 game losing streak and chances of making the playoffs look slim with each passing game.
The Miami Heat lost their last game against the Indiana Pacers, 88-95 while the Portland Trail Blazers have kept their season going with an emphatic win over the Utah Jazz, 132-105.
Miami Heat: Guard Goran Dragic is out with a knee injury and Forward Derrick Jones Jr. is out with a knee injury as well.
Portland Trail Blazers: Guard Rodney Hood is considered day to day with an undisclosed injury while Center Jusuf Nurkic is considered day to day as well with a knee injury.
Players to watch out for
Miami Heat: Josh Richardson
The Miami Heat has had trouble with their rotations all season long, with coach Erik Spoelstra unable to give enough time to his starters and his rotation players.
One player who has broken out this season and has his usage at a high level has been Josh Richardson. Even though he has tapered off a bit, he has been a solid player all season for the Heat, averaging 17.3 points per game, along with 3.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game as well.
He is a good defender as well, averaging 1.1 steals and 0.5 blocks a game as well. If he has a hot streak going, the Blazers might find it difficult to stop him.
Last game stats: 14 points, 3-7 FG, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 3 TOs against the Indiana Pacers
Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard
There is no player more dangerous on the court tomorrow than Damian Lillard, who has been absolutely amazing for a Portland team that is playing really well.
Lillard had started off the season in red hot form but has now come back to earthly levels. He is still averaging 26.4 points per game, along with 6.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game as well.
His defence has been a menace for the opponents, averaging 1.1 steals and 0.5 blocks a game as well. It will a tough ask for the Miami Heat to stop him if he gets going.
Last game stats: 36 points, 12-21 FG, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 TOs against the Utah Jazz.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Miami Heat: Justise Winslow (F), Tyler Johnson (G), Josh Richardson (G), James Johnson (F), Hassan Whiteside (C)
Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (G), CJ McCollum (G), Moe Harkless (F), Al-Farouq Aminu (F), Jusuf Nurkic (C)
Match Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers to beat the Miami Heat
The Portland Trail Blazers have been stupendous off late and are coming back from a long rest. They will be expected to beat a Miami Heat team that has been struggling off late and has been unable to get going.
The Heat are also on a 3 game losing streak, which does not seem likely to end at the Blazers.