The Miami Heat were hoping for a good run during a lengthy homestand that included some tough opponents but also some very winnable games. After opening with wins against the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers, they played well in spurts but eventually lost to the Los Angeles Clippers and most recently to the Boston Celtics. Coming off a 109-79 blowout home loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Orlando Magic arrive to the AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday with a 12-17 record, better than the Heat’s but still out of the playoff picture -- an all too common place for Orlando for the past few years.
This is one of those winnable games for sure, but the Miami Heat will (unsurprisingly) be shorthanded once again with Wayne Ellington still recovering from his right hamstring strain and Dion Waiters likely missing his 13th consecutive game. To make matters worse, Rodney McGruder is questionable with a sprained left ankle, which could mean Josh Richardson will start in his place. Orlando does not have any players listed as having injuries.
All the injuries mean that Goran Dragic (averaging a team-leading 19.1 ppg and 6.7 apg) and Hassan Whiteside (17.6 ppg, 14.8 rpg) must once again have big games for the Heat, though it’s going to have to be a total team effort regardless to have a chance to win. Miami’s home record is just 4-10 while Orlando’s road record is a respectable 7-7.
Starters & Projections:
Tipoff: 7:30pm, AmericanAirlines Arena - Miami FL
TV: FOX Sports Sun (Eric Reid, Tony Fiorentino, Jason Jackson)
Radio: 790-AM (Mike Inglis, John Crotty, Jonathan Zaslow, Tommy Tighe), 106.3-FM, 710-AM (Spanish). HEAT Radio Network includes: Naples/Ft. Myers – 1240 WFWN, 1270 WNOG & 97.3 FM, Port St. Lucie – WPSL 1590AM & The Keys – WKWF 1600AM and WAVK 97.7FM