3 Orlando Magic games to watch in the second quarter of the season
Dec. 20 – vs. Miami Heat
This is the first of four games versus the Miami Heat and hopefully the start of a new era in the rivalry.
Playing against the defending conference champs, who also happen to be your in-state rival certainly raises the stakes for this one. And whether anyone likes to acknowledge it or not, these games have a more charged atmosphere inside the Amway Center and wins over the Heat matter a lot to this franchise.
Things have been quiet recently between these Florida foes, but both teams could finally be good enough at the same time, potentially creating some friction.
That is something that has rarely happened in the two franchise's history. In Orlando's 34 seasons, Miami and Orlando have both had a winning record in the same season just 11 times. The last one was in Dwight Howard's last season in 2012.
As it is tending now, there is also the potential to get a playoff matchup between these two, which would have the whole state buzzing. That has not happened since Anfernee Hardaway's famous playoff series in 1997.
On the court, the Heat’s trio of Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo can present some issues for the Magic, assuming they are healthy for this game.
Looking back at last season, the Magic beat the Heat only once. Starting this season so strong, taking back the reigns in this match-up could go a long way for the franchise.
This is always a matchup that feels meaningful to the franchise. It is certainly a big measuring stick for this young team to reclaim their state.