Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Trail Blazers keep Heat, Bosh on ice
By ESPN Stats & Info
The Portland Trail Blazers stayed hot on the road completing a sweep of the Florida teams (Magic and Heat) to pick up their seventh consecutive road win. That marks their longest road win streak since the 1990-91 season, and the third longest in franchise history.
The Trail Blazers are now a season-high 10 games over .500 and are being led by LaMarcus Aldridge. Since February, Aldridge is averaging 26.1 points per game, fourth best in the NBA. Portland is 12-5 during that stretch including wins over the Spurs, Bulls, Magic and Heat.
Aldridge had 26 points Tuesday, and Portland's bench, led by Gerald Wallace (22 points) and Brandon Roy (3-for-3 three-point field-goals), outscored Miami's bench 41-8, including 13-3 in the fourth quarter.
While Tuesday marked another good night for the Trail Blazers, it was another frustrating one for the Miami Heat. The Heat have lost five straight games to open their stretch of 11-straight against opponents over .500.
Miami got a combined 69 points on over 60 percent field-goal shooting from Dwyane Wade (38 points) and LeBron James (31), the third time this season they each scored over 30 points in a game. However, Chris Bosh was held to only seven points, tying a season low, with both games coming in the last two weeks.
According to a tweet from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Bosh is becomingly increasingly frustrated with his lack of touches in the post.
Video tracking showed Bosh had just three plays in the post against the Blazers. During the Heat’s five-game losing streak, Bosh has had a total of 19 post plays, including just six in the second half/overtime of those games.
Elias tells us that on Tuesday, Bosh was on the court for 80 offensive plays however he had a usage percentage of just 16.3, down 7 percent from his season average. Usage percentage is an estimate of the team plays used by a player while he was on the floor, with plays being defined as a possession that results in a field-goal attempt, free-throw attempt or a turnover.
Compare that to Wade (36.6 usage rate) and James (29.2) who each took at least 20 shots this game compared only 11 for Bosh.
The other main concern for the Heat has to be their continued struggle in close games against good teams. After cutting their deficit to two points with 4:35 remaining, Miami was outscored 14-7 to end the game.
Miami resorted to taking five three-point attempts in its final eight possessions, making only one, while also turning the ball over twice.