4. Feb. 27: Miami Heat at Portland Trail Blazers: Lillard’s Potential Return
The Heat heads for a cross-country trip on Feb. 27 to face none other than the Portland Trail Blazers. These teams that are very familiar with one another’s roster and even more familiar with each other’s front office. By this point after the trade deadline, there could be lingering resentment from each side in how trade talks have been handled.
Whether Lillard gets traded to the Heat or not, this will be a fun matchup for any NBA fan, with plenty of on-court reactions, boos from fans and subtle remarks from the broadcast. Miami should come out of this game with a win, either way, considering the Trail Blazers distressed roster. This game will definitely see a boost in ratings if Lillard ends up in a Heat uniform.
3. Feb. 29: Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets: Revenge Against Defending Champions
Just as much as the Celtics want to face the Heat, Miami should want a jab at the Denver Nuggets. The Heat fell short of a 2023 NBA Championship, losing in five games to the Nuggets in June. Both of their matchups will be on national television.
Miami travels to Ball Arena for their first bout on Feb. 29 for its first taste of playing the defending champions. Nikola Jokic versus Bam Adebayo, Jamal Murray versus Jimmy Butler, offense versus defense.
There’s likely been a lot of film watched between both parties, so the schematics and coaching duel between Erik Spoelstra and Michael Malone will also be extremely entertaining. It’ll be a phenomenal game just after the NBA All-Star break when most teams put the season into another gear.