Dominating The Heat
A trap ordered by San Van Gundy helped Orlando keep Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade in check during overtime of a Magic win in December. On Wednesday night, Van Gundy may not need a double team to keep Wade from scoring.
Van Gundy looks to remain unbeaten against his former club, and the Magic look to continue their dominance over a Heat team that could be without Wade as the teams continue their season series.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Orlando –13.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 196.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 77% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando –13.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Van Gundy, Pat Riley's protege with Miami (9-34) before joining Orlando (28-18) in the offseason, is 2-0 against the Heat this season, extending the Magic's run to seven straight wins in the series with their in-state rivals.
In the teams' last matchup on Dec. 28, Van Gundy had Orlando trap Wade in overtime, and the All-Star guard did not get a shot off in the extra five minutes as the Magic won 121-114. Wade matched a career high with 48 points, but was a non-factor in the extra session.
After the game, Van Gundy jokingly said Orlando would trap Wade right from the start of the teams' next meeting, but Wade's status is uncertain for Wednesday's contest.
In Miami's 117-87 loss to Boston on Tuesday night, Wade departed after the third quarter with flu-like symptoms. Wade, who finished with seven points while shooting 1-for-9 from the field, may be rested with the Heat playing games on back-to-back nights.
Wade has played in four of Miami's last seven meetings with Orlando, averaging 35.0 points in those games, but it hasn't helped the Heat earn their first win over the Magic since a 110-100 victory on Feb. 15, 2006.
Miami may also be without Udonis Haslem for this contest. Haslem, the only Heat player to start all 43 games, left Tuesday's game with a sprained left ankle in the second quarter and did not return.
Haslem is averaging 12.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
With Shaquille O'Neal already sidelined due to a sore left hip, Haslem's absence would make it even tougher for the Heat to match up with Orlando's Dwight Howard. The fourth-year center, who will start alongside Wade in the All-Star game, finished with 29 points and 21 rebounds in December's meeting with Miami.
Howard had 18 points and 16 rebounds in a 96-93 win over Eastern Conference-leading Boston on Sunday, but it was Hedo Turkoglu's off-balance 3-pointer with time running out that won the game for Orlando.
The Magic have won four of their last five overall and lead the Southeast Division by three games. Howard, though, wasn't happy that Orlando needed a clutch shot to win Sunday's game, with Celtics star Kevin Garnett resting a strained abdominal muscle.
"We don't want to be known as a last-shot team, we want to be a great team," Howard said. "I think we're building up to being a great team."
Turkoglu finished with 27 points, and was named Eastern Conference player of the week after averaging 25.5 to lead the Magic to a 3-1 record.
He is averaging 24.5 points while shooting 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from 3-point range in the two victories over the Heat this season.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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