The Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are scheduled for a Sunday night matchup at the Moda Center in Portland. The Blazers are playing on a back-to-back after a fairly easy night against the Detroit Pistons. They took a 33-23 lead after a quarter of action and didn’t look back. Portland cleared the Pistons with ease by a score of 118-103. It should have and was an easy night for the Blazers.
Detroit was without Jerami Grant, which pretty well robbed the Pistons of a go-to scorer. The Blazers’ defense, which is not up to par with top teams in the NBA, didn’t have a difficult night at the office in that one. Holding the Pistons to 103 points wasn’t so much because of them, but because of a lack of weapons for Detroit.
It was a solid win for Trail Blazers after they dropped decisions against the Clippers, 133-116, and Jazz, 122-103. Those are two physical defenses that they have trouble against, and now the Blazers have to switch gears back to another aggressive defense on Sunday night. The Trail Blazers had no problems against the Pistons, but this is going to be a much different task against the Heat.
The Heat are going into Portland feeling fresh. They haven’t played since a 110-104 win against the LA Lakers on Thursday. Despite a poor performance against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday in a 124-112 loss at home, the Heat have won five of their last six games. They head to Oregon with a record of 27-25 and sixth in the East. Both the Heat and Celtics have been disappointing this season, but we’ll see if defense can carry the Heat in the playoffs.
They are going to need it because the offense has been too hit and miss. Note that the Heat are going to be without Victor Oladipo and could be without Tyler Herro against the Blazers. Herro has been dealing with a sore foot, and his status is currently unavailable for Sunday night. He hasn’t taken his game to the next level like most would hope, but his presence off the bench is helpful. Head below for our free Heat vs. Trail Blazers pick on April 11, 2021.
Miami Heat vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Betting Odds:
Heat vs. Trail Blazers Prediction:
The Heat did their best to acquire Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline. They just didn’t want to part with Tyler Herro. I can’t argue them bending over for the Raptors, but with that said, the Heat would be a better team right now with Lowry on the floor. The other name that was floated around was Duncan Robinson. He might not score the most points, but he’s incredibly efficient and one of the more underrated players in the NBA. In his last three games, Robinson has shot 6-for-9, 4-for-7, and 3-for-5 in his last three outings.
This team has really come together defensively. Their defensive identity has been really strong since Jimmy Butler has signed with the Heat. They are currently third in the NBA with 107.4 points against per game, and hold teams to a 44.7% field goal percentage. The Blazers playing against a well-rested Heat squad is where they could run into problems. Miami is likely going to be ready to bang against a Portland team that is on a back-to-back. If the Blazers aren’t prepared to grind defensively in this one, they probably aren’t going to get the win in this one.
And on a good night, the Blazers are not a good defensive team. The Blazers have conceded 115.1 points per game for 26th in the NBA. Teams have been efficient from the field, as the Blazers have allowed teams to shoot 47.9% from the field. At home this season, it hasn’t gotten much better for the Blazers. They have given up 114.1 points per game in Portland at the Moda Center. If I’m the Blazers, a defense like the Heat isn’t who I’d want to see on a back-to-back. The Heat haven’t played since Thursday, too, so they have two nights of rest on Portland. Expect their defense to be the difference on Sunday night.