The Miami Heat look to win their 27th straight game tonight as they take on a team who has surprised them with problems as of late, the Orlando Magic. Both teams, however, could look a little differently this time around.
Last night, the Heat were without guard Dwyane Wade due to a sore knee. Wade assured that the pain was minor and there was no need to panic over a potential period of time the Heat could be without him. It’s unclear though whether he will miss tonight’s contest.
For the Magic, they will be without starting guard Aaron Afflalo and their center Nikola Vucevic who has been a quiet surprise for them this season.
Orlando will try and do what many opponents have been so very close to doing lately: Hold a double digit lead and snap “the streak.” Miami has been in double digit deficits in their last four games and somehow have come away with a win.
This streak says a lot more about the 2012-2013 Miami Heat than the previous two years’ teams. If anything, it says that head coach Erik Spoelstra has had his guys more focused and ready than ever before. They have gotten used to the constant media frenzy surrounding their franchise, as well as all of the continual ridicule and spotlight engulfing LeBron James since his “Decision” three years ago.
This year has been forgettable for the Magic, after letting go of the constant headache in Dwight Howard. They may not be as talented a team, but they sure have quite a bit less negativity in the locker room and at post-game press conferences. The bright spot for them is Howard’s replacement, Vucevic, who has averaged a double-double on the season with 12.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The likelihood of the Magic winning tonight is greatly underrated based on their last two performances against the Heat. But, the fact is, Miami is as good as an NBA team gets over the past decade. Look for the Heat to prove that they are far better than their recent performances against Orlando.