Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (Jan. 27, 2023): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

Markelle Fultz took control of the game with a season-ending double-double for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Markelle Fultz took control of the game with a season-ending double-double for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic get their first crack at the rival Miami Heat as they take their strong play on the road in a big Southeast Division matchup.

Orlando Magic (19-29) at Miami Heat (27-22)

Time/TV: 8 p.m./Bally Sports Florida
Line: Heat by 8
Tickets: $39-$2,940 on StubHub
Season Series: Tonight in Miami; Feb. 11 in Orlando; March 11 in Orlando; April 9 in Miami

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OMD Prediction

The Orlando Magic and Miami Heat are interesting foils for each other.

Last year the Heat found ways to dominate the Magic with their switching and defensive length. Orlando could not figure out how to get into the interior and break the defense. Then the Magic struggled to track the Heat’s 3-point shooting on the other end. They got beat up in the first three games, losing by 17, 10 and 10 points (the Magic won the finale when everyone sat their main players).

This Orlando team is different. Just as this Miami team is different.

The Heat are not nearly the 3-point shooting team they were last year. The Magic are a bigger and more versatile team, able to switch and defend in multiple ways. This team is much better, to say the least. And they do the exact things that the Heat bothered the Magic with.

The question is whether Orlando will have the discipline to make it hard for Miami and give itself the chance to win. Whether the Magic will be able to break down the Heat’s defense long enough to stay ahead. It will be a real challenge for this young Magic team on the road.

105. 110. Prediction. 107. 38

3 Keys To Watch

All about turnovers

The biggest factor in this game will be turnovers. More specifically, whether the Orlando Magic are able to protect the ball.

This has been the Magic’s biggest weakness so far this season. They can really throw the ball around and devalue their possessions at times. And that is where the Magic usually find themselves in trouble.

Orlando is 26th in the league with a 15.3 percent turnover rate. The team gives up 18.5 points off turnovers per game, the fifth-most in the league.

The Miami Heat are a team that takes advantage of these mistakes. This is the biggest way they feed their offense since they struggle from beyond the arc (more on that in a minute). Miami forces opponents to a 16.9 percent turnover rate, the second-best mark in the league. The Heat score 18.6 points off turnovers per game, seventh in the league.

This game will be about the Magic’s turnovers almost completely.

3-point shooting struggles

The Orlando Magic’s 3-point shooting struggles are well chronicled. The Magic are 20th in the league shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and 24th in makes at 11.0 per game. The Magic are not a volume 3-point shooting team.

But Orlando is getting better. In the team’s last 15 games, the Magic are shooting 37.4 percent from deep (11th in the league during that time) and make 11.5 per game (still 19th on a low volume).

When you think of the Miami Heat, though, you think of a team that are masters from beyond the arc. That has not been the case this year. They still have Tyler Herro who can hit from deep, but Max Strus, Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson have taken major dips. Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith are the only players shooting better than 35 percent from deep.

Miami is shooting 33.5 percent from deep, 27th in the league, and the team is making only 11.9 per game (Miami takes 35.4 attempts per game). This feels very un-Heat-like.

The Magic are typically a solid 3-point shooting defense even if they give up some volume in their efforts to protect the paint.

Gary “Gary Harris” Harris

There is a lot of love going to the Orlando Magic’s main players. Paolo Banchero is the team’s future superstar. Franz Wagner is maybe the best sophomore in the league right now. Wendell Carter and Markelle Fultz are solid veteran leaders (even if they are both still under 25 years old).

So what about Gary Harris? The actual veteran of this group.

Harris deserves our attention too because he has been on a tear. This is not just about him hitting all six of his 3-pointers in the win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Harris has been on a general tear for a while now.

Harris is averaging 9.3 points per game and is shooting 50.4 percent from the floor and 47.3 percent from beyond the arc on 3.7 attempts per game. That last stat probably needs a moment to breathe.

In his last 14 games, Harris averaged just 8.8 points per game but is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 49.0 percent from beyond the arc on 3.6 attempts per game.

Next. Orlando Magic are learning to win more and more. dark

If anything right now, the Magic need to find a way to get Harris more of these outside shots. Because that changes everything for Orlando.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.