Miami Heat vs Orlando Magic: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic

Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL

When: Friday, 3 January 2020, 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Florida | WAXY 790 AM / S: WAQI 710 AM, 96.9 FM THE GAME / 98.1 SALSA Y MAS

Miami Heat (Away)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 547-372 | MIA}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kendrick Nunn – (G) Duncan Robinson – (F) Jimmy Butler – (F) Meyers Leonard – (C) Bam Adebayo

Top Performers

  • (F) Jimmy Butler – 35.4 MPG | 20.8 PPG | 6.6 RPG | 6.6 APG
  • (G) Kendrick Nunn – 30.7 MPG | 16.0 PPG | 3.5 APG | 2.8 RPG
  • (C) Bam Adebayo – 34.4 MPG | 15.6 PPG | 10.6 RPG | 4.6 APG

The Miami Heat continue to shock the NBA as they rank amongst the top of the league’s playoff hopefuls. They are one of four teams who entered the New Year with less than ten losses on the season.

The Miami Heat are thriving off of the excellent play of their surprising young stars. They have been able to set a torrid offensive pace, only matched by their already fantastic defensive discipline.

The Heat hit a bump in the road when they lost to the lowly Washington Wizards. They will look to be back on track when they take on a lesser Orlando Magic team. Despite Orlando’s struggles, the Heat won’t be facing an automatic win.

Orlando Magic (Home)

Head Coach: Steve Clifford {All-Time 252-273 | CHA, ORL}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Markelle Fultz – (G) Evan Fournier – (F) Wesley Iwundu – (F) Jonathan Isaac – (C) Nikola Vucevic

Top Performers

  • (G) Evan Fournier – 30.9 MPG | 19.5 PPG | 3.2 APG | .417 3P%
  • (C) Nikola Vucevic – 31.4 MPG | 18.1 PPG | 10.6 RPG | 1.0 BPG
  • (F) Aaron Gordon – 31.1 MPG | 13.2 PPG | 7.1 RPG | .456 eFG%

While the Orlando Magic haven’t proven themselves to be contenders for the Eastern Conference, let alone NBA crown, they have still lined themselves up to be competitive in the East.

Their defensive acumen is spectacular. They are equally adept at defending the perimeter as they are the three-point line. The combination of athletic and rangy wing players, backed by strong interior defenders has propelled the Magic’s success.

They take on a Heat team that is similar to them in some ways. Orlando will need to slow down Miami’s all-around attack, while also showing that they’ve improved their attack in the New Year.

What’s at Stake?

The Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat have met a number of times over the years as intrastate rivals. In 119 regular-season games, the Heat lead the Magic 65-54.

A win for the Miami Heat would help them hold off the Toronto Raptors and help them push for the Boston Celtics‘ second-place standing.

A win for the Orlando Magic would give them a two-game lead over the Chicago Bulls, who trail them at ninth in the East.

Questions to Answer

Can the Miami Heat get back on track?

Can the Orlando Magic capitalize on possessions?

We are going to compare the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Can the Heat Regain Control of the Magic?

The Miami Heat failed to win the season series against the Orlando Magic during their last campaign. They were 1-3 against their state rivals in 2018-2019, but the new and improved Heat look to be the stronger side this season.

Miami come up against a tough defensive side, whose offense hasn’t quite matched the other side of the court. Miami is one of the best at getting to the free-throw line (first in the NBA at 26.8 FTA per game), padding their offensive numbers and limiting defenses.

In order to get control of this season series, the Heat will need to navigate Orlando’s long and versatile offense. While getting to the line is their forte, playing strong defense and not fouling is the strength of the Magic (Second in the NBA, 18.0 per game).

Can the Magic Starters Match Up?

When you look at the names of the Magic and Heat roster, you wouldn’t be able to separate the quality so decisively. However the improvement of the Heat’s lesser known pieces ranks them above the Magic.

Orlando is eighteenth in the league in bench scoring to Miami’s fifteenth. The margin is small, but the difference suggests that this game will be determined by the play of the starting five.

The Magic are rife with scoring options, but their lack of playmaking is why they struggle to initiate their offense. They can’t beat the Heat defense with one-on-one play, so Clifford’s side will have to orchestrate excellent ball movement to take this win.

Can Miami Control the Glass?

The Miami Heat are not an incredible rebounding team, but they fight for every possession. Meyers Leonard, Bam Adebayo, and Jimmy Butler form a frontcourt three that have a near-unmatched motor.

The Heat are only fifteenth in the NBA in rebounds per game, and twenty-eighth overall in offensive rebounds per game, but their ability to box out is almost as important. Miami limits their opposition to 41.5 rebounds per game, good enough for second in the NBA.

The length of the Orlando Magic is an interesting match for the strength of the Miami Heat. Winning on the glass will be important for the Heat, should they hope to come out of this match unscathed.

Orlando Must Maximize Possessions

Steve Clifford may get a bad wrap for leading teams to rather average records, but he has managed his Magic to put forward some impressive statistics this year.

The Orlando Magic are number one in turnovers per game (18.0), two in blocks per game (6.5), and five in steals per game (8.4) in the league. Their defensive ability is fantastic, and their ability to take care of the ball is what is keeping them in games.

Orlando touts an awful average field-goal percentage of 43.1% per game. They will need every possession to take down the Heat. Markelle Fultz and DJ Augustin are excellent with the ball, averaging 8.9 assists per game to 3.2 turnovers combined.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

(F) Justise Winslow – 29 Dec 2019 – Out (Back) – Winslow is listed as OUT for Monday’s (Dec. 30) game.

Orlando Magic Roster Notes

(G) Michael Carter-Williams – 31 Dec 2019 – Out (Shoulder) – Carter-Williams is listed as OUT for Wednesday’s (Jan. 1) game against the Wizards.

(F) Aaron Gordon – 31 Dec 2019 – Day To Day (Achilles) – Gordon is questionable for Wednesday’s (Jan. 1) game against Washington.

(F) Al-Farouq Aminu – 4 Dec 2019 – Out (Right Knee) – The Magic announced that Aminu is dealing with a torn meniscus. There is no timetable for his return.

Head-to-Head: (C) Bam Adebayo vs (C) Nikola Vucevic

Two players who look set to be All-Stars this season face off at the pivot position.

Bam Adebayo has shown an all-around game that none expected when he entered the league. On the other end, Nikola Vucevic has shown consistency with his refined offensive game.

(C) Bam Adebayo (6-9, 255lb (206cm, 115kg) | Kentucky | 2 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 22 MIA 33 34.4 15.6 10.6 4.6 .563 .111

There are a few ways in which Bam Adebayo fails to contribute when he is on the court. He’s taken massive strides both rebounding and distributing the ball. While his offensive game is still unrefined, his hustle and hands award him with many easy baskets.

He will be as important on the defensive side against Orlando as he is on the offensive side. Adebayo has shown the ability to move his feet with the best pick plays. He’ll be essential in slowing down Vucevic.

(C) Nikola Vucevic (6-11, 260lb (211cm, 117kg) | USC/Montenegro | 8 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 22 ORL 22 31.4 18.1 10.6 3.4 .458 .344

Vucevic may be a tad off the mark from his career year last season, but he is certainly a dangerous asset for any defense to face off against. For what he lacks on the defensive side of the ball, Vucevic makes up for it on the offensive side.

Despite missing ten games earlier in the season, Vucevic has been excellent since his return. In eight games after his return from injury, Vucevic is averaging 20.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.5 steals on 47.0% shooting and 37.2% from three. Orlando’s success with Vucevic on the court is no coincidence.

Miami Heat at Orlando Magic Predictions

Why the Miami Heat Will Win

The Miami Heat have an offensive pace that may find difficulty with the Magic. Luckily, their defensive side may be enough to slow an already lethargic Orlando attack.

Why the Orlando Magic Will Win

The Orlando Magic, for all of their offensive deficiencies, are a capable defensive team. Their length is near-unmatched across the league and it can cause a team like Miami real trouble. Sorting out their attack can help the Magic steal this game.

WSN’s Pick

The Miami Heat are on a spectacular roll, only slighted by some recent hiccups. Their play looks too refined to be slowed by the Magic. Jimmy Butler has always been great as of late, showing he can play both the role of star and bit player.

WSN Picks: Miami Heat defeat Orlando Magic.

Miami Heat vs Orlando Magic Odds

Find the latest odds for Miami Heat vs Orlando Magic below. For more NBA odds visit bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Caesars NJ.

Money Line

Sportsbook MIA Heat ORL Magic
bet365 NJ -125 +105
DraftKings -121 +102
Caesars NJ -120 +100

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