If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. The Miami Heat MUST WIN tonight in the final home game of the regular season against the Orlando Magic. The Heat dealt a pretty good blow to their chances of having home-court in the first round when they failed to beat the Magic in Orlando on Friday night. The Heat are looking to solidify themselves rotation-wise and should be preparing to go in the playoffs without Chris Bosh, who has been out since February.
The Magic have been playing very well during the past few weeks and are looking to play spoiler for their in-state rival. They have been led by a rejuvenated Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier as those two really hurt the Heat in their last meeting. Here are the 3 keys.
- Lock down the middle: Orlando scored 60 points in the paint in the last meeting, and the Heat cannot afford to let that happen again. The Magic only took ten three’s, so Miami needs to make sure that they are not giving up too many drives.
- Focus on defense: The playoffs are upon us, and that is where defense wins you games. The Heat’s defense has been fairly inconsistent the past month, so they need to focus on locking down defensively. If they can keep this game low-scoring, they have a good chance to win. I know they like to play fast now, but they are still better than most teams at playing slow, and that’s because of the energy expended on defense.
- Contain Vucevic: He had 29 points last game on 20 shot attempts. Every time he gets the ball, he should see one or two players in his way. Miami has the quickness to front him, but they will have to communicate and make sure everyone is rotating so that no shooters are left open.
Every game is a playoff game, and with the Hornets loss in Washington earlier today, Miami can gain a one game lead on the Hornets with a win tonight. Big game!