Tonight at 7:30 pm, the Heat welcome the Orlando Magic into American Airlines Arena for the second half of a home and home. Miami comes into the game at 9-3, and riding a 5-game winning streak.
Wednesday, the Heat routed the Magic in Orlando, 120-92. LeBron James led the way with Dwyane Wade out, scoring 21 points. The Heat also got 18 points from Chris Bosh, and a combined 31 points from James Jones and Michael Beasley.
Wade is expected to play in Saturday’s game after sitting out the last two as part of his knee maintenance program.
Orlando is a team in transition, completely clearing the deck from the Dwight Howard era, and rebuilding from the bottom up. They have some good pieces in Arron Afflalo (22.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.5 apg), Nikola Vucevic (14.9 ppg, 10,9 rpg, 2.7 apg), and the #2 overall pick from this year’s draft, Victor Oladipo (12.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.2 apg). The Magic are a middle of the pack team offensively, ranking 16th in PPG (99.2), even with ranking 11th in FG% (45.8%), and 9th in 3PTFG% (39.4%). Defensively, they still have some work to do, ranking 22nd in Points Allowed (101.5).
Miami still remains the epitome of offensive efficiency, ranking 1st in FG% (52.2%) and 3PTFG% (45.9%), while ranking 4th in PPG (107.1). LeBron James has been on an amazing run during this 5-game winning streak, averaging 27 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg, while shooting 63% from the field, 50% from 3, and 83% from the free throw line. Miami has also gotten huge contributions from its role players during this streak, so much so that the starters have sat out the 4th quarter in 4 of the 5 games.
Miami has too much firepower for Orlando to keep pace with their offensive explosiveness and efficiency. I expect the Heat to throuoghly dominate this game at home, like they did on the road Wednesday.
Prediction: Heat 105, Magic 95.
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