Sneak Preview: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic | Magic Basketball



Nov 24

Sneak Preview: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Surprise, ahem, is in the voice of the Heat these days. Now that their force field of arrogance has been shattered, the Heat wobble into Amway Center at a ho-hum 8-6, misfiring on offense and missing some spare parts (Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller). All their woes place a ton of pressure on the 9-4 Magic tonight for Orlando-Miami II. What do you make of the [Orlando] Magic if they can’t beat the reeling, luke-warm Heat and square the series? […] The Magic said that the Spurs game was a measuring stick. If that was a barometer, isn’t the Miami rematch, especially after Orlando was embarrassed Oct. 29 in South Florida? Absolutely. If the Heat aren’t vulnerable now, then when? At least against the Spurs, the Magic played well until the final minutes when they kicked the ball around. They could leave Texas feeling upbeat. It’s no wonder [Jameer] Nelson and teammates have nightmares of their 96-70 loss to the Heat, visions of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh shutting them down in mismatches. They left Miami’s building feeling deflated, not only wondering if all the hype about this South Florida steamroller was warranted but whether they’d stand a chance at playoff time. Other teams have poked holes in the Heat hysteria since then. The Magic need to join them, particularly since they are playing at home. Magic-Heat II is the biggest game yet at new, cavernous Amway Center. I haven’t been overwhelmed by the home-court atmosphere. Time to break it in proper.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Vince Carter received some welcome news on the injury front Tuesday. An MRI on his injured left knee revealed no significant structural damage, an Orlando Magic spokesman said. Carter might play when the Magic host the Miami Heat on Wednesday. He will be a gametime decision. The 33-year-old shooting guard sustained the injury Monday, midway through the fourth quarter of the Magic’s 106-97 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Carter made a gorgeous spin move and converted a layup on the play, but he landed awkwardly on his left foot. He didn’t return to the game.”
  • Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel: “The Heat has consecutive losses to Memphis and Indiana. It’s Spoelstra now on the [Stan] Van Gundy Hot Seat. And Spoelstra knows the rules. He’s a big boy and a good coach, no matter what anyone says today. But you don’t get handed the keys to a team like this without the wild expectations that come with it. Of course, that previous sentence is part of the dilemma itself. This team has significant holes, especially with Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller on the shelf. At the crux of the question Jackson raises is this: Do superstars in the NBA, the most diva of sports leagues, need to be coached by superstars? That’s why Jackson was brought to Los Angeles with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. It’s also why Van Gundy got run out of Miami by his own players, mainly Shaq, even if modern legend claims it all Riley’s doing. Since this pertains to the Heat’s current situation, let’s take a quick history lesson. Shaq was upset Van Gundy kept running plays for an injured Dwyane Wade in Game 7 of the previous spring’s Eastern Conference Finals. Wade had nothing left by the fourth quarter. Plays kept going to him. Detroit won. Shaq decided, then and there, he was done with Van Gundy.”
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel: “Erick Dampier is in, Jerry Stackhouse is out, and Udonis Haslem may be gone for the season. In the wake of one of the franchise’s ugliest losses in years, Monday’s 93-77 setback to the visiting Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat quickly found their focus turned to personnel issues at Tuesday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. On the practice court, Dampier, the veteran center, was working with coaches on the team’s playbook, after signing a one-year contract at the veteran minimum. Gone from the scene was Stackhouse, with the Heat electing to release the veteran shooting guard, rather than one of the four centers already on the roster. […] Although the team would not confirm the extent of Haslem’s injury other than to say he would be out indefinitely, a source familiar with the procedure said it is a season-ending injury for most players. The source said the opinion had nothing to do with the possibility of the Heat seeking salary-cap relief for a replacement, which only would come if Haslem was deemed sidelined for the season by Nov. 30.”
  • Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald: “One day after a numbing home loss to the Pacers temporarily shattered the Heat, the theme for Tuesday’s practice was reconnecting. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wanted his team to rediscover the elements that would make the team successful — none of which showed up during Miami’s 16-point loss Monday. One of those key elements, though, won’t be reconnecting anytime soon. Possibly not for the rest of the regular season. Udonis Haslem had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. The procedure was called a success, but the typical recovery period for that type of surgery is at least four months. If that were the case for Haslem, it would keep him out until at least late March. In Haslem’s absence, the Heat signed center Erick Dampier, a 14-year veteran, and waived Jerry Stackhouse.”
  • Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald: “If three of the biggest NBA stars aren’t enough to get Heat fans in their seats on time, maybe $2 off a hotdog, and a gentle scolding by team management will do the trick. Or, maybe not. In most NBA cities, the prospect of seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the floor together would be enough to have fans captivated by tipoff. But this is Miami, where socializing and showing up fashionably late is as much a part of the culture as ignoring stop signs. Heat management — tired of seeing thousands of empty seats at the start of game broadcasts — recently launched a “Fan Up” campaign in an attempt to get fans to be more punctual and spirited. That could prove more difficult than winning another NBA title. They may have to lock the arena doors at tipoff to get fans in on time.”
  • Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh of The Heat Index: “A season ago, the Orlando Magic were the proud owners of the league’s second best offense in the league but it’s slid 6.1 points per 100 possessions since then. What’s the problem? Magic point guards have been uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball. That’s especially true for newcomer Chris Duhon whose turnover rate so far in a Magic uniform has doubled his career norm. Jameer Nelson and Duhon combined for 5 turnovers in the Oct. 29 matchup. The Heat should be licking their chops since the transition game is the only thing that seems to be working offensively and turnovers award them those opportunities. Additionally, if the Heat seek to disarm Dwight Howard defensively, causing turnovers and jumping out in transition will be their best option.”
  • Brian Windhorst of The Heat Index: “LeBron James will be the first member of the Miami Heat introduced in the starting lineup on Wednesday night at Amway Center. The Magic home crowd, like every other crowd outside Miami this season, will likely boo him. And then when James touches the ball early in the game there will probably be more boos. The boos will follow James as he travels the league this season, whether he’s checking in at the scorer’s table or walking to the foul line. The volume might vary based on region, the competitiveness of the game or general level of interest, but the pattern figures to be consistent. This is the new norm for James and one of the many things he admits he’s adjusting to as a member of the targeted Heat. James admitted last week after another night of routine boos in Memphis that he’s been perplexed by some of the grief he’s received on the road this season.”
  • Michael Wallace of The Heat Index: “Erick Dampier should have been signed two months ago when he first met with Pat Riley and Erick Spoelstra before the Miami Heat’s training camp. But that doesn’t mean his arrival Tuesday in advance of Wednesday’s clash with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic didn’t come right on time. The Heat are hurting right now, both figuratively and literally. The pain of their disappointing 8-6 start to the season has been compounded by the the loss of their leading rebounder, co-captain and resident tough guy, Udonis Haslem, for what might be the duration of the season. On the same day Haslem had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left foot, the Heat tried to regain their balance by signing Dampier to help fill their rebounding void and need for another big man with some semblance of a mean streak to bang inside.”

" James admitted last week after another night of routine boos in Memphis that he’s been perplexed by some of the grief he’s received on the road this season.” Why are you perplexed James? It's pretty straight forward, you are arrogant and people don't like arrogance. All that comes to mind when I think of Lebron is Cartman in the "What Should I do" commercial on South Park.