HEAT Set out on 6-Game Road Trip
By: Matt Pineda
The HEAT are at a crucial point in their season. After a relatively relaxing schedule with one of the lightest schedules game-wise and a home heavy December, the HEAT are embarking on a 6-game, 11-day road trip with 5 of them out West.
At 23-9, Miami is a mere 7-6 on the road with losses to Detroit, Washington and Milwaukee all hanging over their heads. This trip could propel the HEAT forward, or allow the Knicks, Pacers and Hawks to gain ground in the Eastern Conference. Here’s a look at their schedule
Indiana is making a strong push towards the top of the conference. Winners of 7 of their last 10, and 12-3 at home, the Pacers are poised to extract some revenge on their playoff exit from the HEAT. While Indiana has struggled without Danny Granger, Bankers Life Fieldhouse has always been a difficult place for the HEAT to play. Miami split two games in Indiana last season.
Portland awaits the HEAT with a 18-15 record and 11-4 at home. The Blazers are the 5th worst offensive scoring team in the West, yet their defense has kept them at 8th place in the standings. Rookie Damien Lillard will be the tough cover for the HEAT along with LaMarcus Aldridge. Lillard is fast point guard, and Aldridge has the length that bothers the HEAT. This game will be nationally televised on TNT.
Sacramento will host Miami two nights later. At 13-21, the Kings are barely surviving in the West. As long as they don’t light it up from downtown, which is highly possible, Miami should brease through this game.
Utah will offer a difficult challenge for the HEAT. With their four big guy rotation, they offer exactly what the HEAT struggle with, rebounding. At 17-18, the Jazz rank 5th in offensive rebounds. The HEAT beat the Jazz earlier this year in Miami.
Golden State has been the surprise team this year. At 22-11, they have already beat the HEAT in Miami and The Warriors always have a tough home court against the HEAT. Miami will need to be disciplined for 48 minutes to beat the Warriors. This game will be on ESPN.
L.A. Lakers will take on the HEAT in the final road game on national television. The long awaited matchup from fans, but at 15-18 the Lakers are where they want to be. Howard doesn’t seem right, and their age is showing. Rest assured, they will be ready for this game, and the HEAT will be tired. This will come off as a big game from the media, but the Lakers will be at home for a week at this point, while Miami will be gone for their 11th day and at the end of a back-to-back past Oakland. The sides aren’t fair, but it should be interesting.
The HEAT will need their bench, rebounding and a healthy LeBron James to be successful on this trip.
Tune in and cheer on your team.