The Orlando Magic will wrap their preseason schedule tonight in a neutral-site game in Tampa against the Miami Heat, with whom they figure battle throughout the season for Eastern Conference supremacy. While tonight represents the first meeting between the teams since Miami added All-Stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it won't be nearly as dramatic or exciting as one might hope, even by preseason standards. Dwyane Wade, Miami's incumbent All-Star, is out with a right hamstring injury. Jump-shooting ace Mike Miller broke the thumb on his shooting hand in Wednesday's practice, further downgrading the Heat's depth on the wing and limiting their offense to an unimaginative and sadly familiar James-centric look. And with Miami having extended its key players last night in a loss at Atlanta, James and Bosh won't play major minutes.
So when the final horn sounds tonight--and the game will be played, despite the slippery surface which led Magic coach Stan Van Gundy to dub it "not playable" during this morning's practice--take the result with a grain of salt, as Brian Schmitz suggests. Don't despair, though; these teams will play for real one week from tonight, and while Miller won't be ready, Wade will be.
|2010/2011 NBA Preseason|
|7-0 (3-0 road)
|3-4 (3-1 home)
|October 22nd, 2010|
|St. Pete Times Forum|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Carlos Arroyo|
|Vince Carter||SG||James Jones|
|Quentin Richardson||SF||LeBron James|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Chris Bosh|
|Dwight Howard||C||Joel Anthony|
|2009/10 Advanced Stats|
|92.0 (18th)||Pace||89.6 (28th)|
|111.4 (4th)||ORtg||106.6 (19th)|
|103.3 (3rd)||DRtg||104.1 (6th)|