The Portland Trail Blazers are hot, winning 11 of their last 14 games and conquering eight straight at home. Tonight, will be a good test to see how hot they really are when they take on some heat of their own, as in the Miami Heat at the Rose Garden. It should be a good game, Damian Lillard said. They are one of the best teams if not the best team in the league. So I'm excited to go up against them.Tonight's game is the first of a back-to-back for the Trail Blazers. They travel to Oakland to take on the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night.
The defending champion Heat (23-10) are in the midst of their second game of a six-game road trip having lost 87-77 to the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night in Indianapolis. That 77 points scored by the Heat was a season-low and they were out-rebounded 55-36. Dwyane Wade led the team with 30 points, five rebounds and three assist. LeBron James contributed 22 points, 10 rebounds and four assist.Chris Bosh had 14 points and five rebounds. James loves to put on a show when he arrives in Portland. In 17 career games in the Rose City, James is averaging 30.1 points, his second-highest average against any NBA team (Utah 30.4). James also grabs 9.7 rebounds a game when he steps foot inside the Rose Garden,his highest average of any NBA team. Rookie of the Year favorite Lillard says growing up, James was his favorite player in the association. LeBron was my favorite player in the league up until two years ago when I was in college shooting for the NBA myself, Lillard said. He can do it all and that's why I liked him.
The Heat are not the same team outside of Miami. Even though they claim the best record in the Eastern Conference, they are 7-7 on the road.However, the road team in this series has won the last five games. That's where Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts comes in at. He has been a magician when it comes to making sure his team is prepared at home ,and being able to pull out close games. In games decided by six or fewer points, the Trail Blazers (19-15) are 10-2. Not to mention Stotts has the Trail Blazers 5-0 in overtime periods this season. Stotts (sick) was not at practice yesterday. He stayed home to rest and assistant Jay Triano took over at the helm. Stotts is expected to coach tonight, however.