Orlando Magic A Different Team when Nikola Vucevic Faces Miami Heat
The Magic nearly pulled off the upset of the season Wednesday but sustained a 97-96 loss to the Heat. In the end, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh came through for the Magic.
But, Vucevic again left everything on the court. He had 25 points and 21 rebounds for his second 20-point, 20-rebound game this season against the Heat.
Lucky for Miami, they won’t be seeing Vucevic in the playoffs.
Vucevic has seemed to play extremely well against outstanding teams. He saw 42 minutes of action against the Heat after Magic coaches could tell that he was at the top of his game. He was 11-of-16 from the floor, and nine of his boards were on the offensive end. He also had four assists.
Vucevic did not reach double figures in scoring in his previous two games but he did have a 19-point performance with 10 rebounds to open the month against the Houston Rockets.
Throughout February, Vucevic would go through a streak of double-figure scoring and then be held to single digits. If he can pretend every team the Magic plays is the Miami Heat, he would be headed for NBA All-Star status.
The best thing that happened to Vucevic was coming to Orlando where he has started every game, from the Philadelphia 76ers, where his talents weren’t appreciated. His 32.4 minutes per game this year are almost doubled from last season.
He averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds last season, and he’s almost doubled those totals this season.