The MIAMI and the ORLANDO will both be gunning for a victory on 10/17/2018 at 7:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
MIAMI HEAT vs ORLANDO MAGIC
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
|705||MIAMI||2.5 (-110)||210.5 (-110)||-140
TV: 7:05 PM
PREDICTION: ORLANDO , MIAMI
Oddsmakers currently have the ORLANDO listed as 2.5 point favorites versus the MIAMI, while the game’s total is sitting at 210.5.
Dwyane Wade’s final season in the NBA begins Wednesday when he leads the Miami Heat into a matchup at the Orlando Magic in the opener for both teams. The 36-year-old Wade, who played his first 13 seasons with the Heat and returned late in 2017-18 after stints with Chicago and Cleveland, signed a one-year deal for a last go-round with a team that has high hopes.
Rumors persist that Wade and Co. could soon be joined by Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler, who has asked for a trade and reportedly has interest in Miami, although it appears Butler will begin the season in Minnesota. The Magic have endured an Eastern Conference-high six straight seasons without a playoff berth and they have fallen short of 30 wins five times in that stretch. Steve Clifford, who was let go after five seasons coaching in Charlotte, takes over on the sidelines to guide a team that ranked 23rd in scoring (103.4 points per game) and 28th in 3-point shooting (35.1 percent). The trio of Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic combined to average 51.9 points but each of them was limited to 57 starts due to injuries.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Miami), FS Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE HEAT (2017-18: 44-38): Miami made a three-win improvement last season from the year before even as center Hassan Whiteside had a disappointing campaign marked by injury and frustration over his role, a scenario that has put a target on the big man’s back entering his seventh season. “I feel like when you average a double-double for a season and people say it’s a bad season, you have to combine that with the pressure I put on myself to play well,” Whiteside – who averaged 14 points and 11.4 rebounds in 54 games – recently told reporters. Veteran power forward James Johnson helped pick up some of the slack during Whiteside’s absences with a career-high 41 starts, but Johnson is questionable for the opener due to an illness.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (2017-18: 25-57): Gordon’s numbers have improved dramatically each of the last three seasons and he averaged 17.6 points along with 7.9 rebounds while making 33.6 percent of his 3-point tries last season. Vucevic is one of three listed seven-footers on a team loaded with size, and rookie center Mohamed Bamba showed he’s ready to contribute with averages of 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in limited preseason action. Forward Jonathan Isaac also adds a great deal of height and athleticism, and is expected to make a big impact after being limited to just 27 games as a rookie due to ankle issues.
1. Isaac had 15 points, eight rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot in just 17 minutes against Memphis in preseason action Oct. 10.
2. Whiteside needs one double-double to become the third player in franchise history to record 150.
3. Vucevic scored at least 20 points in three of his five preseason games.
PREDICTION: Heat 107, Magic 104