Heat may be short-handed trying to halt Blazers' nine-game win streak

From FOX Sports - March 11, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore.Just when the Miami Heat were gaining momentum in their bid to move up the ladder in the jockeying for Eastern Conference playoff seedings, the injury bug hit.

Guard Dwyane Wade will be missing and center Hassan Whiteside could join him on the sideline when the Heat (36-31) visit Moda Center on Monday night to face the steaming hot Portland Trail Blazers.

Wade sustained a strained left hamstring and exited the game early in the fourth quarter of Miamis 129-102 rout of Washington on Saturday. Whiteside suffered a strained left hip flexor during the shootaround and sat out the win over the Wizards.

Both made the trip to Portland, where the Heat will begin a three-game road trip that continues Wednesday at Sacramento and Friday in Los Angeles against the Lakers. But Wade has all but declared himself out of commission for the trips opener.

A strain is just like a little cramp, Wade told reporters after the game against Washington. The next day, youll feel if its worse or the same. Well have to see. But I wont be in the lineup against Portland, I can probably guarantee that.

Whiteside wasnt as definitive.

With strains, its pretty tricky, he said. They can last a couple of days; they can go away. But I dont want to go out there and make it worse, and then its something thats lingering for a month.

The Heat were gathering momentum, having won four of their last five games, including the romp past Wizards in their most one-sided victory of the season.

Our energy was great at both ends of the court, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. Our depth, and multiple guys being able to contribute, thats the strength of our team.

But that strength has been eroded, at least to start the Heats current trip.

Portland (40-26) has been fortunate to face opponents with key players missing this month, including Minnesota (Jimmy Butler), Oklahoma City (Carmelo Anthony) and Golden State (Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala).


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