Tuesday, February 5 at 10:30 PM ET
The Miami Heat try to get back on track when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers in Dwyane Wade's last game at the Moda Center.
One last dance in Portland for D-Wade
Dwyane Wade, in the middle of the 16th and final season of his storied career, is averaging 13.8 points, a team-best 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 25.4 minutes over 41 games off the bench and although he will get to play in his final All-Star Game, the three-time NBA champion could miss his final NBA Playoffs, as the Heat have lost three straight games at home to fall to 24-27.
Miami is now in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, two games over Detroit and with teams like Detroit and Orlando not far behind. The Heat just lost 95-88 against the Victor Oladipo-less Pacers last Saturday, getting ourebounded 54-50 and turning the ball over 24 times. Wade stepped up with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists off the bench but Miami couldn't overcome a cold shooting night.
Trail Blazers are coming together
The Trail Blazers are 6-1 in their last seven games and they will be very rested, as they haven't played since last Wednesday, when they crushed the Jazz 132-105 at home, with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combining for 66 points.
Taking the Heat lightly would be a mistake, they won the first meeting between these two teams, 120-111 on October 27 in Miami behind 28 points from Goran Dragic, who outscored them 8-7 by himself in the final 3:52. Dwyane Wade and Kelly Olynyk added 19 points apiece and the Heat outrebounded the Trail Blazers 56-42.
Dragic will miss this game with right knee soreness but Wade will be available and he's always played well when facing the Trail Blazers, as he's averaging 25.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 27 games (25 starts) against them.
Wade is just a role player at this stage of his career but he loves playing on the road during his farewell tour and the Heat are desperate for a win, which makes them very dangerous.
The Miami Heat are:
26-9-1 ATS in their last 36 road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600
36-14-2 ATS in their last 52 road games against a team with a winning home record
12-5 ATS in their last 17 road games
The Portland Trail Blazers are:
1-5 ATS in their last six Tuesday games
The Heat grabbed 16 offensive rebounds in the first meeting against eight by the Trail Blazers and limiting second chances will be one of the keys to this game.
Damian Lillard finished with 42 points in the game in Miami but other than CJ McCollum (19 points) and Zach Collins (13 points) the rest of his teammates were very quiet, especially Jusuf Nurkic, who had just five points on 2 of 7 shooting. The Trail Blazers need Nurkic to get more involved on offense and his matchup with Hassan Whiteside will be extremely important.
Last Sunday Portland traded Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV, a 2021 second round pick and a 2023 second round pick to the Cavaliers for Rodney Hood, who was playing extremely well for the Jazz last season before arriving in Cleveland and struggling in the playoffs. Hood was able to recover from that and he was playing well with the Cavs, averaging 12.2 points and shooting 36.2 from 3-point range in 27.4 minutes over 45 games.
It's still uncertain if Hood plays against the Heat and I believe he can be a difference-maker for the Trail Blazers come playoff time but I have to go with the Heat here, they need this game and although I don't see them winning, they can put up a fight.
NBA Pick: Heat +7.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON