HHH Gametime Preview: Heat @ Magic

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat (24-8) take on the Orlando Magic (10-22) for their first stop in a back-to-back which sees them host the Raptors on Sunday.

It's not everyday that you see the Heat struggle to get defensive stops. Rather, most times when they lose, they will struggle to convert offensively. Such was not the case on Thursday night when the Heat lost to the red-hot Warriors.

And such probably won't be the case tonight as the Heat visit the in-state rival Orlando Magic. The Magic are 3-7 in their last 10 games and only average 96.4 PPG. The Magic are coming off of an overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

Since this is a back-to-back, Dwyane Wade should be considered questionable, as Miami may want to save him for the more talented Toronto Raptors who will come to visit on Sunday evening. Wade has only played one back-to-back so far this season.

This match-up features the Eastern Conference player of the month for December, LeBron James, and the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for December, Victor Oladipo. The Heat blew out the Magic by 28 points earlier this season in Orlando in a game that Wade sat out as well. James Jones played in his place and scored 17 points for the Heat.

The Magic are led by Arron Afflalo, but also feature a total of six players for average double digit scoring in Nikola Vucevic, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, Victor Oladpio, and Tobias Harris. Vucevic, who has always given the Heat trouble on the boards is day-to-day and is uncertain for tonight's match-up.

For Miami, the keys will be to rekindle their passion for defense after giving up 123 points to the Warriors. They'll need to establish themselves on the glass, and continue to shoot over 50%. If they can do two out of those three things, they should walk away with a win.

At 24-8, Miami is 1 1/2 games behind Indiana for tops in the East.

Check back here before game time for our GameThread!

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