LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives on Wesley Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers during a game. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Big Three might have played in the All-Star Game, but they've had a full week off from competitive games. Meanwhile, the Blazers had to play in Denver last night.
The Miami Heat are in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, and they should be a little more rested than their opponent when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT). Portland had to go on the road on Wednesday night, while the Heat will be playing their first game since the All-Star break when the two teams play at the Rose Garden.
Portland lost to the Denver Nuggets in their last game, but they have been a completely different team at home. The 18-17 Blazers have picked up 13 of their wins in Portland, where they have been able to defeat some top-quality opposition. However, the Heat are almost as good away from home as they are in Miami, and should be favorites to win on Thursday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Jamal Crawford did enough for the Blazers offensively against the Nuggets, but the Blazers were absolutely dominated on the boards. Denver out-rebounded them 54-36 while Kenneth Faried grabbed seven offensive rebounds. Even if the Blazers score often enough to compete with the Heat, they're going to struggle if they are unable to keep Miami off of the offensive glass.
Of course, there might not be too many offensive rebounds for the Heat to attempt to grab. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are both shooting better than 50 percent from the floor, while Chris Bosh is close to them at 49 percent. The Heat also lead the league in three-point shooting percentage.