It is a Boxing Day in Miami for Orlando as the Magic go against the Heat. A Christmas matchup between State, Division and Conference rivals awaits on Game Day 35.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 8:30pm here in the UK (3:30pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
There are two ways to watch the game live or on demand in the UK today. Firstly you can watch via an active NBA League Pass subscription. Never miss a game again and watch the entire 2021/22 season by subscribing to NBA League Pass. Alternatively the game is being broadcast live on the Sky Sports Football channel. A subscription to Sky Sports is required.
Thursday 23rd December – New Orleans Pelicans 110 – 104 Orlando Magic
Magic Top Performers – Cole Anthony (22 points and 11 assists) and Wendell Carter Jr (17 points and 12 rebounds) each had double-doubles on their return from injury to the team. Gary Harris co-led Orlando in scoring with 22 points. Franz Wagner finished with 20 points.
Thursday 23rd December – Detroit Pistons 112 – 115 Miami Heat
Heat Top Performers – Tyler Herro led the Heat with 29 points, Max Strus had 21 points and Kyle Lowry 21 points.
Orlando’s record is now 7 wins and 26 losses. The Magic remained 14th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played the Magic have won 2 and longer back further it is 15 losses in 18 games. The home record stands at 2 wins of 13 games played, whilst on the road it is 5 wins in 20 played. In points per game the Magic score 101.5 whilst conceding 110.8. In offensive rankings Orlando remain at 28th, dropping back to 26th defensively.
The Miami Heat are 4th in the Eastern Conference with a 20-13 record. Of the last 10 games played the Heat have won 6, including the last two played. Their home record is standing at 10 wins of 14 played. Since our last meeting Miami have improved both their points scored and conceded averages. They score an average of 107.5 points per game, whilst conceding just 103.7 (the 3rd least conceded in the NBA). This has seen Miami improve to being 5th for offence and 7th in defensive rankings.
Head-To-Head – The Miami Heat
The all time head-to-head record in the 128 regular season games played sees the Magic trailing by 56-72.
The teams have already met twice this season. Game Day 4 saw Orlando losing by 90-107 on the road in Miami. Orlando fought but Miami led for most of the game. Game Day 30 was in the Amway Center and a makeshift Magic team came up short in second season loss by 115-105.
Last season the teams met three times, Miami taking the series 2-1. Orlando took an opening night win in the Amway Center by 107-113. On Game Day 37 in Miami the Heat took a 103-111 win on the back of a big Jimmy Butler performance. The final meeting was on Game Day 39 on March 14th, seeing the Heat win by 102-97 in Orlando.
Season 2019-20 saw Orlando beaten 1-3 across the four meetings. Few Magic fans will forget the January 4th 2020 meeting in the Amway Center. Orlando won 85-105 which included a superb defensive performance, culminating in holding the Heat to just 6 points in the 4th quarter.
In the playoffs the teams have met over 5 games in 1997, Orlando losing 3-2 in the Eastern Conference First Round.
Our Opponents – The Miami Heat
Coach Eric Spoelstra has been at the Miami helm now since 2008. His coaching is seeing the team in the conversation for a strong challenge come the season end.
At the time of writing ESPN list Miami as having some concerns. Former Magic favourite Victor Oladipo remains out with a long term quad injury. Bam Adebayo is out after surgery. Markieff Morris are out with a back injury, Jimmy Butler is questionable for the same reason. Kyle Lowry is out, as is former Magic centre Dewayne Dedmon. PJ Tucker is still questionable with a leg issue.
Last Game Starting Unit: Kyle Lowry (PG), Gabe Vincent (SG), Max Strus (PF), Duncan Robinson (SF), Dewayne Dedmon (C).
From the bench came Tyler Herro, KZ Okpala, Omer Yurtseven, Marcus Garrett and Udonis Haslem.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
ESPN shows some change to the Magic injury status.
Cole Anthony is day-to-day following his absence with a sprained right ankle.
Wendell Carter Jr is also day-to-day but available after his lower leg injury.
RJ Hampton no longer appears on the injury report and available for the game.
Chuma Okeke has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
BJ Johnson has entered NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Mychal Mulder remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Mo Bamba remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game. He also sprained his right ankle in LA and missed the Atlanta game.
Terrence Ross remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Moe Wagner remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Ignas Brazdeikis remains in NBA protocols for COVID-19 and is out for the game.
Markelle Fultz is still out. On Friday 10th December he went through his first full practice since the ACL injury in the left knee.
Jalen Suggs is out with a fractured right thumb. He will be out for “an extended period of time” and is to be reevaluated in the next week.
E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates from a left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season. He is said to be making great and steady progress, but is not yet cleared for contact.
The Magic Lineup On Boxing Day In Miami For Orlando
Coach Mosely can not start with the same unit as against the Pelicans.
Magic Players Available – Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr, RJ Hampton, Robin Lopez, Hassani Gravett, Aleem Ford, Admiral Schofield, Tim Frazier and Freddie Gillespie.
Check Out Other Orlando Magic U.K. Content
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Final Thoughts For Game Day 35
A Boxing Day in Miami for Orlando sees both teams again significantly hampered by player absence. Miami will again have a lot of talent missing again, including proven game winners. They will remain dangerous.
Through the adversity of recent weeks Orlando have played with a spirit and determination. That will continue and with a little luck Orlando could take a first win of the season over their State rivals. Now that would be some Christmas Magic that every Orlando fan wants!
Let’s Go Magic!