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

WSN Picks: Miami Heat defeat Orlando Magic.

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How to Watch

What:Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
Where:AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
When:Wednesday, 4 March 2020, 7:00 PM EST
How (TV/Radio):Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Sun | 96.9 FM THE GAME / 98.1 SALSA Y MAS, WAXY 790 AM / S: WAQI 710 AM

Orlando Magic (Away)

Head Coach: Steve Clifford {All-Time 265-288 | CHA, ORL}

Season Record: 27-34

Projected Starting Five: (G) Markelle Fultz – (G) Evan Fournier – (F) James Ennis – (F) Gary Clark – (C) Nikola Vucevic

Top Performers:

  • (C) Nikola Vucevic – 32.4 MPG | 19.3 PPG | 10.8 RPG | 3.6 APG
  • (G) Evan Fournier – 31.7 MPG | 18.9 PPG | 3.2 APG | .403 3P%
  • (F) Aaron Gordon – 32.9 MPG | 14.4 PPG | 7.6 RPG | 3.5 APG

The Orlando Magic are holding on to the seventh seed for dear life. They are injured in key areas and have a rather difficult schedule remaining. They’ve struggled on the road, but hopefully, the short in-state trip will work in their favour.

The Magic are coming off of a blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Orlando couldn’t keep up with their offensive output as their patented perimeter defence failed them. They’ll hope to show a different side against the Heat.

They’ll be facing a tough opponent in the Miami Heat. Similarly aggressive on the defensive end, but much more talented on the offensive end, the Magic have the cards stacked against them. Big man Nikola Vucevic will need help from his supporting cast.

Miami Heat (Home)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 562-385 | MIA}

Season Record: 39-22

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

Top Performers:

  • (F) Jimmy Butler – 34.4 MPG | 20.5 PPG | 6.7 RPG | 6.2 APG
  • (G) Goran Dragic – 28.5 MPG | 16.3 PPG | 5.1 APG | .384 3P%
  • (C) Bam Adebayo – 34.4 MPG | 16.2 PPG | 10.5 RPG | 5.1 APG

The Miami Heat have cooled off from their early season rise, but they’ve found some new form after the All-Star break. Currently, fourth in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat have a two-game lead over the Indiana Pacers who are below them.

The Heat are coming off of a spectacular win over the NBA leading Milwaukee Bucks. Not only was their offence on track, but they also put on an incredible defensive showcase against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

If Miami’s defensive effort is even half as zoned in as they were when they take on the Magic, they should dispatch their Floridian rivals easily. Their main priority will be slowing down All-Star centre Nikola Vucevic and outside-gunner Terrence Ross.

What’s At Stake?

The Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic have a strong intra-state rivalry. In 122 regular-season meetings, the Heat lead the Magic 67-55.

The Miami Heat hope to gain some ground not he third-place Boston Celtics with a win.

The Orlando Magic hope to secure seventh place in the East for themselves with a win, breaking a tie with the Brooklyn Nets.

Questions to answer

Can the Orlando Magic find their perfect lineup?

Will the Miami Heat maintain their defensive form?

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

ORL: Rotations Are Crucial

Steve Clifford has brought an excellent culture to the Orlando Magic. Their defensive ability has improved with every year he has been with the team, and players seem to be responding to his tactics. His rotations, on the other hand, have been questionable.

The substitution of Markelle Fultz in their last match against the Blazers is the point in question. Down only two points with four minutes in the third quarter, Fultz was the main factor keeping them in the game. He didn’t return until there were five minutes left in the fourth, at which point they were down 15 points.

Clifford has also refused to play Wes Iwundu, an excellent three-and-D threat as well as holding Mo Bamba to sparing use. They are still in a playoff spot, but with their recent performances, Clifford is in the hot seat.

MIA: Miami Are Rounding into Form

The Miami Heat opened the season as an elite defensive unit. They allowed less than 38 field-goals per game from October to November but started to drop the ball from December to February. Their win against the Bucks brought them back into defensive form.

With the acquisition of some new players, Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill, some chemistry issues had to be sorted out. When they faced the Bucks, Pat Riley’s vision came together.

Their swarming and versatile defence held the Bucks to 40.7% shooting and 20.6% shooting from deep. They even held stars Antetokounmpo and Middleton to 33.3% and 25.0% respectively. Against the Magic, the Heat will have to show their interior defence is just as good as their perimeter.

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Orlando Magic Roster Notes

(F) Al-Farouq Aminu – 8 Jan 2020 – Out (Right Knee) – The Magic announced that Aminu had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in 12 weeks.

(F) Jonathan Isaac – 2 Jan 2020 – Out (Knee) – Isaac will miss at least 2 months due to a severe sprain and bone contusion in his left knee, according to Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman.

(F) Aaron Gordon – 2 Mar 2020 – Day To Day (Knee) – Gordon did not play in Monday’s (Mar. 2) game against Portland.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

(G) Tyler Herro – 2 Mar 2020 – Out (Right Ankle) – Herro is listed as OUT for Monday’s (Mar. 2) game against the Bucks.

(C) Meyers Leonard – 2 Mar 2020 – Out (Ankle) – Leonard is listed as OUT for Monday’s (Mar. 2) game against the Bucks.

(F) Kyle Alexander – 10 Feb 2020 – Out (Knee) – Alexander has not appeared in a game since January 5 with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the G-League.

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

The matchup of the evening is a defence-offence showcase between Orlando and Miami’s All-Star centres. Vucevic’s scoring ability is well known, but Adebayo has put on some defensive showcases that suggest he could shut down the Montenegrin.

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

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2029ORL5032.419.310.83.6.465.329

 

It is quite clear that the success of the Orlando Magic tends to centre around the play of Nikola Vucevic. While he wasn’t named an All-Star, Vucevic is far more productive in wins than he is in losses. He averages 21-11.5-4.2 in wins versus 18.1-10.3-3.1 in losses, still valuable production, but his efficiency drops from 56.7% to 50.9%. He’ll have to prove his game can remain productive against a stout defensive centre like Adebayo.

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

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2022MIA6134.416.210.55.1.565.077

In his last match against the Milwaukee Bucks, Bam Adebayo’s performance was crucial. He was fantastic as usual rebounding and distributing the ball, but his defence is what drew eyes. As the primary defender to Antetokounmpo, Adebayo held the reigning NBA MVP to 6-18 from the floor and only two free-throw attempts. Vucevic is a more traditional, back-to-the-basket type centre, so Adebayo will have to prove his strength and length on top of his foot speed.

Orlando Magic at Miami Heat Predictions and Odds

The odds for the Magic vs Miami will be updated as soon as they are made available by the sportsbooks. For more NBA odds visit SugarHouse NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

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Orlando Magic at Miami Heat FAQ

Why the Orlando Magic Will Win

For the Orlando Magic, it is all about offensive efficiency. They are a proven defensive unit, despite their injuries, but convert on five-plus field-goals per game in wins versus losses. Considering their pace stays the same, the Magic will have to grind for their win.

Why the Miami Heat Will Win

The Miami Heat have the offensive firepower to douse the Magic. Orlando is excellent at protecting the rim, so the Heat will have to prove that they have the consistency from deep to punish the Magic’s rim protectors.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: Miami Heat defeat Orlando Magic

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