The Orlando Magic open their 2021 season against their in-state rivals as they aim for a fast start and to stake a place in the early Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Miami Heat (0-0) vs. Orlando Magic (0-0)
7 p.m./FOX Sports Florida
2020 Season Series:
in Orlando on Jan. 2;
in Miami on Jan. 27;
in Orlando on Feb. 1;
in Miami on March 4
2021 Season Series:
Tonight in Orlando
The first game of any season is a little bit of a crapshoot. Nobody knows where they are really at in the preseason until that first game. And veteran teams especially can kind of coast through the preseason leaving very little hints of what they will do when the lights turn on. Throw on top of that the Miami Heat will have had only 70-plus days between the end of their NBA Finals run and the start of this season. Your guess is as good as mine. The Magic’s struggles to defend the 3-point line in the preseason is concerning. But how knows if that is real. For now, if the Heat are able to shoot, they have this Jimmy Butler guy who is pretty good and pretty focused.
1) The Orlando Magic showed their faith in Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac with their new contracts. Josh Robbins of The Athletic breaks down what the extensions mean for the Magic.
2) The Orlando Magic trust their process to get themselves ready for the regular season.
3) Max Mortenson breaks down the basic sets the Orlando Magic run.
5) The Orlando Magic spent the latter half of their preseason trying to get their defensive mentality back.
7) Aaron Gordon has had an up-and-down seven-year run in the NBA, will this be the year he finally puts it all together? Chip Murphy of Hoops Habit explores.
8) Expect more of the same as the Orlando Magic continue to be a well-organized middling team, James Herbert of CBS Sports writes.
9) In some sense, though, the Orlando Magic are following the same rebuild path the Miami Heat walked.
10) The Miami Heat looks the same, but their Finals run has changed everything for this group, Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes.
11) Bam Adebayo promises his new contract will not change his hunger to improve, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.
12) Avery Bradley and Moe Harkless are still playing catch-up as the newest members of the Miami Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes.
13) Kenneth Wilson of All U Can Heat explains why Meyers Leonard should start alongside Bam Aebayo.
15) The Miami Heat have several unsung prospects who seemed ready to step up after the preseason, Kenneth Wilson of All U Can Heat writes.
16) Michael Carter-Williams is in a position to solidify his bench role with the Orlando Magic, Isaac Ryu writes.
17) Garrett Townsend of Orlando Pinstriped Post makes five bold predictions for the Orlando Magic this season.
18) Isaac Ryu names three Orlando Magic players set to make a major impact this year.
19) The Orlando Magic cite their communication as a key for their potential success, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
20) NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA will not jump the line in any way when a vaccine becomes available, Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com writes.
21) Unlike the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat will play at least the rest of December without fans at American Airlines Arena.
22) Terrence Ross is inching closer to consistency, Tim Monaghan writes.
23) The Miami Heat added another shooter in Max Strus, who will come off the team’s bench, Kenneth Wilson of All U Can Heat writes.
24) Where the Orlando Magic stand after a quiet offseason, Max Mortensen writes.