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PreHeat: Orlando Magic (39-22) look to even series against the Miami Heat (43-17)

Home Away
Miami Orlando
Heat Magic
43-17 Record 39-22
(5th of 30) 110.9 Off Rtg 108.3 (11th of 30)
(4th of 30) 102.6 Def Rtg 101.8 (3rd of 30)
(18th of 30) 91.4 Pace 92.3 (16th of 30)
(9th of 30) 102.0 Pts/G 100.3 (11th of 30)
(6th of 30) 94.4 Opp Pts/G 94.3 (5th of 30)
Likely Starters
Mario Chalmers PG Jameer Nelson
Dwyane Wade SG Jason Richardson
LeBron James SF Hedo Turkoglu
Chris Bosh PF Brandon Bass
Erick Dampier C Dwight Howard
Mike Miller 6th Ryan Anderson
Matchup Series 2-1
American Airlines Arena
8:00 PM EST
TNT / Sun Sports / 790 AM
Injury Report:
Heat: U. Haslem (out indefinitely)
Magic: G. Arenas (gametime), D. Orton (out indef)

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Quick Preview Notes:

  • The South Florida neighbors go to battle with completely opposite blueprints. The Magic rely on the in-and-out game with the best center in the league and an extensive roster full of shooters whilst the Heat rely on the agility of the dynamic Wade-James duo with the sweet stroke shooting forward. Nonetheless, both teams are very similar in their approach to defense as the building block to victory. The Magic actually rank a slight notch higher than the Heat in Defensive Rating, play at a similar pace and hence resemble their Points Per Game For and Against. Miami has the upper hand in the offensive aspect, serving for the win differential. It's always been a stark contrast of play between the two, a fire against water of sorts. Must see-TV.
  • Magic are on a 3-win streak, with recent victories over the Thunder (no sad Perk available) and the New York Knicks (Howard dropped a 40-15-6 blks). They've also just completed a comfortable 7-game home stand, now "going away" to Miami.
  • Last time the teams met the Heat took on Dwight Howard head on, working hard to deny him touches and collapsing when he did receive the ball. It wasn't sorely the big man rotation in the middle but the defensive coverage as a team that limited him to 13 field goal attempts, aiding to silence the critics quick to dismiss the Heat for their size deficiencies. LeBron's 51 points helped a little. The bench's 26 points helped a lot.
  • You can be sure Stan Van Gundy will have tweaked his game plan to position Howard in better situations. If Miami is once again keen on Howard, they will have to equally counter with timely rotations out to the shooter army. Orlando can be very tough to overcome if their bombs are falling, payoff for the gamble to live or die by the 3. Much like James and the Heat as of late.