|2009/2010 NBA Season|
|December 17th, 2009|
|American Airlines Arena|
|Jason Williams||PG||Carlos Arroyo|
|Vince Carter||SG||Dwyane Wade|
|Mickael Pietrus||SF||Yakhouba Diawara|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Michael Beasley|
|Dwight Howard||C||Jermaine O'Neal|
|November 25th: Heat 99, Magic 98|
Clad in their black throwback uniforms, the Orlando Magic will look for revenge tonight against their in-state rival Miami Heat, who dealt them a stunning defeat near the final horn earlier this season. Miami overcame an 11-point deficit to win when Michael Beasley flushed Dwyane Wade's airballed jumper with 1.6 seconds to go. The loss still stings, even for the players. From Sean Deveney of The Sporting News:
"Oh, I can still remember that one," Magic small forward Mickael Pietrus said. "We played very good defense on that play and then, boom, (Beasley) puts it in. Oh, that was a tough one."
Miami's been scuffling of late, with Wade and Mario Chalmers underachieving. As Peninsula Is Mightier points out, the Heat had lost 4 straight home games until Tuesday night, when they crushed the Toronto Raptors by 20. For the season, they're 16th in offense and 19th in defense. In other words, they're a thoroughly mediocre team despite Wade's presence; "underachieving" for him is still better than 98% of the league, I'm afraid.
Orlando made quick work of the Raptors last night, and it can probably use a similar strategy to neutralize the Heat. Force Wade's supporting cast (Beasley, Chalmers, a resurgent Jermaine O'Neal) to take shots. Betweek Yakhouba Diawara and Joel Anthony, Miami has 2 offensive zeroes in its regular rotation. That, too, is something to exploit. Just don't take Dorell Wright, the maturing reserve forward averaging 13.8 points on 60.5% shooting in his last 4 games, for granted. Oh, and box out. Jeez.
The game tips at 8 on TNT; no local TV broadcast tonight, sadly.