Magic v Heat, Round Three: When LeBron Happens.
In what may have been the most lopsided four point victory of the NBA season, the Miami Heat beat your Orlando Magic by a score of 104-100 on Thursday night. The Heat led the entire game and were up 20 with 5 minutes left in the game. The Magic would go on a meaningless three point barrage for the remainder of the game to get within three, but poor clock management and a bad shot(s) at the end would seal the deal for the Heat.
LeBron imposed his will from the beginning and indeed showed Orlando that he does make little checkmarks in his revenge diary (looking at you Otis Smith). LeBron dropped an NBA season high 51 points on the Magic including 22 in the first quarter alone. This just in, LeBron James is good.
Coming into the game, I felt as if Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Bosh would be inspired to show Toronto all that they are missing, but in the end they were just mere spectators to the LeBron James show. They would each finish with 13 points apiece.
Dwight Howard had a big first half but his poor free throw shooting (3-13) severely hampered the Magic‘s ability to stay in the game. Dwight finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds but only managed 1 point in the 2nd half on 2 field goal attempts.
More things that hampered the Magic from winning tonight include:
– Lack of hustle
– Poor shot selection and ball movement
– Missed free throws
– Over-rotations on defense
– Inability to feed Dwight in the post (second half)
– Poor 3-point shooting before the last 5 minutes
– Poor end of game substitutions
– Poor time out management
– Inability to stop anyone off the dribble
– Absence of Brandon Bass
– Absence of Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick shooting ability
– Failure to score more points than the Heat
– Etc, etc, etc.
Ultimately Mike Miller’s Waka Flacka Flock of Seagulls haircut and the Miami Heat proved that they are the superior team. They have 3 All-Star’s on their roster and for the Magic, while talent is clearly present, the team is far from coming together.
The national story regarding the Magic lately seems to go back and forth wondering if the Magic are serious contenders or not. Honestly, I am not sure why there is even a debate to be had anymore. The answer is a simple no. It may be difficult to say it, but there is no way this team can beat Miami and/or Boston to get back to the Finals. Remember, while Heat rises… Magic disappears.
The Magic are back in action tomorrow night on the road as Gilbert Arenas and his ego return to Washington to face off with Rashard Lewis and the Wizards. Expect Gil’s most focused game of the season. Which is important, because it’s one of the worst teams in the league. Tipoff is set for 7pm and the game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Florida.