Takeaways from the Miami Heat’s loss against the Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 18: Dion Waiters
ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 18: Dion Waiters /

The Miami Heat are now 0-1, after taking an 116-109 loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

The Miami Heat’s season opener didn’t exactly go as planned.

Falling short 116-109 to the Orlando Magic on the road, it was their fourth loss in a row to their Florida-rivals. A team that finished 29-53 last year. Which makes it that much more bitter of a pill.

So what went wrong on Wednesday night?

Well for starters, there was much left to be desired when it came to defense.

The Heat allowed the Magic to score 116 points, shooting 47.8 percent from the field. Not exactly conducive to holding off an opponent. And definitely far from the type of performance a third-best defensive team (which Miami was, during their 30-11 second half run) should display. Evan Fournier finished the evening with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting (going 3-for-5 from downtown), while Nikola Vucevic had 19 points, going 6-of-12 from the field. Terrance Ross totaled 15 points and Aaron Gordon recorded 14 points. In fact, six Orlando players finished in double-digits.

There was also the fact that the Heat are still adjusting to all new lineups.

Sure, head coach Erik Spoelstra spent all of preseason toying with rotations, but those become entirely different beasts when regular season play begins. Beasts that have yet to be tamed. Kelly Olynyk ended up getting starter minutes over James Johnson. Justise Winslow became a backup point guard somewhere along the way. Bam Adebayo ended up getting some tick. Miami looked just a little different than in 2016-17, and it showed.

Goran Dragic was a little rusty too.

The veteran spent the summer winning the EuroBasket gold medal with the Slovenian National Team, earning him a little rest during preseason. He played in just two games, averaging 9.0 points, 1.0 rebound and 1.5 assists in 18.5 minutes. Which makes it only natural for Dragic to need some time to get back in tip-top shape. While he did still finish with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal versus the Magic, more than respectable numbers, he shot 6-of-19 (1-for-4 from beyond-the-arc).

And unfortunately, Dion Waiters is continuing to deal with ankle discomfort.

The guard scored 15 points on Wednesday, but went 7-for-17 from the field. His shot selection seemed force, while his stroke looked off, making for a less-than-desireable experience from Waiters Island. And it turns out, his ankle may be to blame. He had to get it re-taped during the third quarter, after someone kicked his foot while he was fighting through a screen. Bad news for the Heat who lost Waiters towards the end of last year.

Next: What to expect from the 2017-18 Miami Heat this season

Although the Miami Heat’s loss to the Orlando Magic wasn’t a pretty sight see, there’s plenty more Miami Heat Basketball to come.