Game Preview: Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat
After a couple of blowout losses, the Orlando Magic finally got a victory, rallying from a 17-point deficit to defeat the New Orleans Hornets 105-102. The win improved the Magic to 16-44. However, turning one win into a streak is going to be tough. The Magic head down to Miami to battle the league’s best player and the Eastern Conference’s best team in the Miami Heat Wednesday night. The Heat have won 15 straight games and enter with a record of 44-14.
This will be the second of four meetings between the two teams. In their first battle, the Heat survived, coming away with a 112-110 overtime victory. LeBron James dominated the extra period, scoring eight of the Heat’s 13 overtime points. James finished with 36 points and 11 assists on the night. Nikola Vucevic had a huge game for the Magic, finishing with 20 points, 29 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists. Arron Afflalo was Orlando’s leading scorer, tallying 28 points.
The Magic rank 26th in offensive rating (99.6), 26th in defensive rating (106.4) and play at the league’s 17th-fastest pace (93.88). The Heat are first in offensive rating (110.5), 11th in defensive rating (101.3) and play at the league’s 22nd-faster pace (93.09).
Tip-off from American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST and will be shown locally on FS Florida.
As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are Scott Foster, David Guthrie and Eddie F. Rush.
The Line: Miami – 15.0 (202.5)
Point guard Jameer Nelson returned to the Magic lineup Monday, scoring 15 points and dishing out seven assists in the victory.
(Andrew Melnick is the Senior blogger for Magic Basketball Online and a contributor at SB Nation. Andrew has covered the Orlando Magic for four years and also works as a radio host. You can follow him on twitter here.)