|2009/2010 NBA Preseason|
|October 7th, 2009|
|Mario Chalmers||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Dwyane Wade||SG||Vince Carter|
|Michael Beasley||SF||Matt Barnes|
|Udonis Haslem||PF||Brandon Bass|
|Joel Anthony||C||Dwight Howard|
With one preseason game already in the books, the Orlando Magic will continue to figure out exactly what they have when they take on their in-state rivals, the Miami Heat, tonight at Amway Arena. Coach Stan Van Gundy has but 7 games left until the regular season begins, so he'll continue to juggle lineups to figure out what works and what doesn't. The first adjustment? He's shifted Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass to the starting lineup, replacing Mickael Pietrus at small forward and Rashard Lewis at power forward, respectively.
The Heat, too, are coming off their first postseason game. Unlike the Magic, they don't have many new additions to acclimate to the system. Also unlike the Magic, they lost on Monday night, dropping a sloppy, 87-83 decision to the Detroit Pistons. Starting center Jermaine O'Neal rebounded comically poorly (1 board in 21 minutes), Dwyane Wade continued his parade to the free-throw line (8 attempts compared to 13 field-goal attempts in 23 minutes), and the point guard tandem of Mario Chalmers and Chris Quinn failed to impress.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Ryan Anderson and Anthony Johnson, who did not appear in the Magic's opener, should get into the game tonight. So, pay attention to how they do. Again, I'm most interested to see how Vince Carter performs in his first home game since joining the Magic. He was decent in Monday's win, and led the team in scoring, but was arguably only the fourth- or fifth-best Magic player overall.
Eddy will have a report from shootaround up sometime later today, and he'll be at Amway Arena to cover the game live from press row. I'll bump this GameThread to the top of the front page just before tipoff.
UPDATE: The Heat's starters tonight are Chalmers, Wade, Beasley, Haslem, and Joel Anthony. Ira Winderoman reports that O'Neal will rest his bruised foot tonight, which gave Anthony the starting nod at center.