Is there a crack in the armor? Is the Heat playing coy with the rest of the league or is the team one step slower than the past two seasons?
Questions are being asked as the Heat are just 4-6 over their past 10 games and have slipped to No. 2 on the latest futures boards of Bovada, topbet and sportsbook.com to win the 2014 NBA title.
Miami had been closing in on the top spot in the Eastern Conference. In early March, the Heat was just a game behind the Pacers for the top spot and home court advantage throughout the conference playoffs until they lost 6 of their next 10 games.
Miami is currently 47-21 straight up and 32-35 against the spread. The Heat will host the Portland Trail Blazers who are also struggling having dropped 6 of their past 10 games overall.
LeBron James vented a bit of frustration after the last loss by the Heat to the New Orleans Pelicans 105-95. The reigning MVP said there were too many excuse being made. When something goes wrong, there is always an excuse. If the ball is turned over, it is an excuse. James said it was simple, the team was not playing good enough at this time. He called the situation very frustrating.
After the New Orleans defeat, the record for the Heat dropped to 4-6 SU over their past ten, while on betonline the team is 3-7 ATS over its past 10 games played.
Tonight, James and his teammates look to get back to their winning ways when they meet Portland. The Trail Blazers are 45-25 SU and 37-33 ATS. Portland was considered by many to be one of the top clubs in the Western Conference earlier this season, but over the past month has fallen back to fifth in the conference standings, one and a half games behind fourth place Houston.
Portland is 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS over its past 10 games played according to data taken from Bovada. LaMarcus Aldridge the team’s leading scorer and rebounder has not played for five straight games, but Portland has managed to go 3-2 without him. With the big man in the lineup, Portland will have a far better chance against Miami.
The Heat still can grab the top seed in the conference as they have two more games head to head with Indiana, who takes on the Chicago Bulls in Chicago on Monday night.
The postseason standing for Portland is not has solid as for Miami. Currently in fifth place in the West, the Trail Blazers should not fall from the top eight, but could drop as far as 7 or 8 if they cannot tighten up their play on both ends of the court.