6 observations from the Trail Blazers victory in Miami

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Miami Heat 110-107 on Monday in an exemplary display of resilience. Thanks to an energetic and refocused defense in the third and fourth quarters, Portland was able to shake off a 15-point lead, en route to a comeback victory. They took advantage of Tyler Herro’s absence, while keeping all Heat players to 16 points or less. A buzzer-beating corner 3 from Josh Hart froze Miami and silenced a South Beach crowd who moments ago came to their senses after a Max Strus 3 tied it late. Another win in the books for the Blazers continued a Cinderella run to bring home a praiseworthy, not proverbial, 7-3 report.

This match would have been a shame to miss, given the late push that was made. It doesn’t matter, we’ve got you covered if that’s the case. Our quarter-by-quarter summary is available here.

Presented to you now: a carton of half a dozen Easter eggs from tonight’s game, which sheds more light on why things happened the way they did.

Play Portland!

The Blazers didn’t do their job on defense in the first half. Their complacency in keeping the 3-point line could not be shaken. They broke the cardinal rule of not stopping the ball in transition, which led to two easy Gabe Vincent bombs from deep in the first, as well as a Kyle Lowry trey later. Portland also didn’t get up in the opposing wing grid when he went past 23 feet, as reported in our Blazers Edge preview earlier today. Duncan Robinson and Lowry excelled in this area, combining six of Miami’s three in the half. Their 10 collective triples were the most the team had managed all season in a single half, and there were over three minutes left to spare in the second. Even more blood could have been spilled, but head coach Chauncey Billups remedied the cause by instructing his players to wrestle zealously, which resulted in missed shots and a few near misses.

Bam!

Bam Adebayo might as well have changed his name to Felix the Cat in the first half, as he was all in his bag during that stretch. When Miami needed a mid-range shot from the dribble, Bam had it for them. When the Heat needed a faceup jumper to keep their momentum going, Bam was their man. Did Erik Spoelstra call for a pick-and-roll? He did it. Several times to this. And Bam found a way to slip inside for easy buckets. Adebayo also found success in the passing lanes, connecting with a wide-open cutter for an easy heck of it. Someone should write a letter to Emeril Laggase to persuade him to give the Heat’s PA announcer a personal phrase from his patent “Bam!” Just for number 13. As solid as he was offensively at the start of the game, he fell short of his production standards halfway through the stretch, scoring just six points and picking up two assists in the last two quarters. of game.

Zone game

What the Blazers failed to do in the 24 minutes before halftime is exactly what they took advantage of in the 24 minutes after. Their 2-3 zone was executed to perfection, where Drew Eubanks was a threat in the middle. They solved their challenge problem by moving their defense up into the big screen and other sets. It’s the first time they’ve shown such great defense this season against the 3 so far, and a secret recipe for success has been uncovered. A 15-point lead was reduced, so much so that the Blazers tied the game with over two minutes to go. A testimony from the reinvigorated defense was, with three minutes left, Max Strus attempted a 30-footer. His defender, Anfernee Simons, was right on him, forcing the miss. It was a direct example of what Coach Billups probably preached in the huddle before the teams came out for the second half. A trickle down effect took effect once Portland moved to man defense and sparked their eventual winning run.

On the other side, the Miami zone in the first half was very effective. Bam Adebayo contained all rim attempts inside and forced the Blazers to shoot from deep, where they surprisingly succeeded. It was the only thing besides Jerami Grant’s heroics that kept them in the game.

Déjà vu?

In their first game, Jimmy Butler had about three quick dunks in 10 minutes that helped open the game. Fast forward to today, and Butler had three interceptions that led to quick breaking buckets, to help extend Miami’s lead. Butler had six takeaways on the game, tying a season high. Purpose? Portland got lazy with their passes. They didn’t move the ball with vigor. When Butler was deceptively hiding in the passing lanes, the Blazers failed to learn from their mistakes and underestimated his cunning.

Sharing is caring

Seven double-digit players for the Heat was a season high. Lowry played selflessly, and he and Vincent took care of their shooters, giving their two stars ample opportunity to get theirs as well. Nothing more than that.

Simons arrives

Simons says erase a double-digit deficit to win the game. Simons says, help revive Jerami Grant after a monster start. Simons says, let him fly from the depths. Simons says, give Justise Winslow some time and let him contribute to your comeback. Simons and Lillard were major catalysts in Rip City, ripping the heart out of the FTX Arena. They did as said, and let him fly from the depths. With the barrage of long shots Miami made throughout the game, it was their fearlessness of the 3 that kept them close. They ended up winning the 3-point battle 16-14 and shooting 43.2% from the arc. Jerami Grant had two triples from the right corner that closed the game and was aggressive on the inside for the duration of the game. At the end of the third before the fourth, Justise Winslow was the leader while Dame was absent. Winslow maintained a good pace and handled the ball with precision. It had a few buckets inside that, while looking small, did exactly what an “other,” as Shaq calls them, is supposed to do. A fusion of all these factors, large and small, led to victory.

Next

The score of the box

The Blazers got their revenge, and on the road too. Now they will enjoy a day off before setting their sights on the Charlotte Hornets, who they will face in Game 4 of their six-game road trip on Wednesday night at 4:00 p.m. PT.

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