The Rose Garden is another difficult place to play, but unlike the Jazz, the Portland Trail Blazers have gotten better, rather than worse.
The Blazers were very promising last season, but fell prey to the injury bug like nothing I have ever seen before.
They lost both centers before the end of December, lost their star Brandon Roy for 20 games, and well...to make this short, the only players who played in every game were Andre Miller (still the NBA's iron man) and Martell Webster (traded to the Timberwolves).
It was brutal.
But now, after months of rest and recovery, the Portland Trail Blazers are set to open eyes across the nation.
They won 50 games last season.
They also added Marcus Camby, Wesley Matthews, Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson, and Elliott Williams.
Not a huge offseason considering they were chasing Chris Paul.
And now that New Orleans has killed that deal, Blazers fans are feeling that this offseason is just a lost cause.
Now we are just sitting around, waiting for Rudy Fernandez to be traded to the Chicago Bulls.
So what's next? Well, after Rudy being traded...nothing.
So this is the roster the Portland Trail Blazers will use to take on the Miami Heat on January 9th.
What the Trail Blazers have going for them is their depth in the frontcourt and the array of defensive stoppers they have at their disposal.
First, each of their big men deserve to be starters.
Joel Przybilla, Greg Oden, and Marcus Camby have all seen very long stretches in their career in which they have started.
Each player will be important to beating the Heat.
We cannot forget about LaMarcus Aldridge either. He will be given the assignment of Bosh right off the bat.
The other two assignments that will be vitally important is slowing down LeBron James and Dwayne Wade (obviously).
The Blazers have two proven perimeter defenders to cover those two and Brandon Roy whenever they need help.
Both Nic Batum and Wesley Matthews have been trusted with guarding the best players in the biggest games.
The likes of Kobe, Carmelo, LeBron, Wade, along with other NBA stars have been slowed down by either of the two.
But the most important piece of the puzzle will be how healthy Greg Oden is by the time the Blazers play the Heat.
(But since I am out in the open in saying Greg Oden will play in 65 games next season, I think he will be healthy come January).
Either way, this will stand to be a difficult contest for the Heat, but Oden will be the X-factor that could tip the scale either way.
Heat Record: 33-6
Become a Fan Of Our Facebook Page-Like It-