Blog Entry

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

Posted on: March 3, 2011 11:27 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 2:33 am
Posted by Royce Young

There's a reason you're not supposed to turn off an NBA game with a quarter left, no matter the score. The saying is that everyone makes a run and while that's not always true, when the team trailing is the Orlando Magic, you might as well hang in there.

The Magic have that unique ability to fill it up from 3, just piling one shot in after another. And despite trailing by 24 to the Miami Heat and looking completely overmatched, all it took was some shots to drop for Orlando to carve its way back into the game.

First, the end result: The Magic beat the Heat 99-96 after two 3-point attempts by Miami missed at the buzzer. 

Most of the talk will be about the final set with the Heat trailing by three. The play was originally designed for Wade, Erik Spoelstra said, but Orlando keenly switched on a pick. The ball found Chris Bosh who hoisted the first 3 attempt. Back iron, but Mike Miller tipped it out to LeBron James who found himself standing wide open at the 3-point line with four seconds left. LeBron actually hesitated for just a moment, as if he was looking for somewhere to pass. But with no option, LeBron fired, coming up short.

That makes LeBron 0-3 in game-typing 3-point situation in a last couple weeks. Have fun with that one, people that don't like LeBron.

But it's not about that last play. Because Miami should've never been there. They were up 24, remember! And get this: Wade and LeBron combined for two points in the fourth quarter. Two! Plus, the two they got were on a pair of gift free throws by Dick Bavetta. Take away a terrible call and Miami's two-headed monster go scoreless.

That's a problem, Miami.

How did we get there though? How Orlando even make this a game to start with? Was it more about the Heat falling on their face, or did the Magic just shoot the lights out?

A little of both, actually.

Miami absolutely bullied its way to a big halftime lead and stretched out to more in the third quarter. But where the Heat lost this game was a five minute lapse in the third quarter. With 5:30 left in the third, Miami led 73-54. Then Jason Richardson hit a 3. Then Jameer Nelson hit one. Then Richardson hit another. By the time the third period buzzer sounded, Orlando had whittled Miami's lead down to nine. Instead of looking at an overwhelming double-digit lead against the Heat, the Magic had a workable margin ahead of them with 12 minutes left.

And the 3-point barrage continued. Richarson hit two more (6-8 for the game), Gilbert Arenas dropped a pair and before you knew, the Magic held a seven-point lead. The flip was almost jarring. How does this happen to the Heat? How do they let Orlando go 16-29 from 3 and basically just shoot their way back into a game?

Because Dwight Howard wasn't a major factor offensively for Orlando as he scored only 14 (18 rebounds though). Howard did a nice job drawing attention and moving the ball out and Miami never adjusted to shooters.

Without the 3-point shot, Orlando doesn't come close. Funny how basketball is like that. If the Magic are slightly off, they probably lose by 10. But Thursday, they hit 16 and were a plus-39 from 3, which made up for every difference there was elsewhere. 

It's kind of hard to imagine the Heat losing a game where LeBron and Wade combine for 57 on 21-33 shooting. That looks nice in the final box score, but the fact is, most of that came in their fun first half. For the first time this season, Wade and LeBron both dropped at least 20 in the first 24 minutes, but they were unable to follow up late.

Is this a growing problem for Miami? In games that get or stay close, the Heat don't seem to have the ability to close and execute. At first it kind of seemed like an abberation. Oh, they've got two great closers. They'll be fine. But this isn't the first time the Heat have folded in crunchtime. The offense continues to look disjointed and unorganized while a team like Orlando slickly moved the ball to marksmen, waiting for them to drill from deep.

And again, for added emphasis, LeBron and Wade scored two points in the fourth quarter. Erick Dampier had seven. Seven! Problematic, cause for concern or just plain horrible? All of the above.

Don't misundertand though, the Heat are a better team than the Magic. But on Thursday, the Magic were hot and when they get that way, they beat most everybody out there. Can Orlando rely on that for seven games against the Heat? Absolutely not. But there is certainly a level of confidence for Orlando to walk away from this game with. They know they can beat the Heat and can even do it without Dwight Howard dominating.

This win is more about the Magic's fight than it is about the Heat's collapse. At least to me it is. Blowing a 24-point lead in your own building is really, really bad, but it takes a focused opponent to make you pay for falling asleep at the wheel. And the Magic did.

Orlando needed to win this more than the Heat needed to not lose. Not just because the two teams don't like each other, but Orlando is looking to finally starting building on something. And Thursday night, they laid a big block. 

Since: Mar 1, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2011 6:29 pm

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

Magic are not just one of the best from long distance, they are the best. On any given night they could beat any team if both teams just shot threes. But this was notjust the Magic doong good, it was the Heat doing terrible. I would say Bibby's addition to the team changed the chance of them making the NBA Finals like 0.5%, because he hardly plays defense. He got burned by Nelson and the other guads playing. And also, Lebron James has missed 3 game winning shots in the last 4 or 5 games. Not sure which, but we can all conclude he fails in the clutch(at least with Miami anyway).  Well, to all you Heat fans, another game lost, and a lot more haters of James.

Since: Feb 25, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2011 3:58 pm

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

I have to disagree with one part of this article.  "This win is more about the Magic's fight than it is about the Heat's collapse."  I am an Orlando fan and the way Orlando was playing for  2 1/2 quarters, the Heat should have easily won.  Also, this was a Heat home game!  Talk about a mental breakdown and just piss poor defense.  Orlando did get hot and can compete with anybodyin the league, but how many times will the Heat get a double digit lead and blow it?

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2011 2:36 pm

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

eThis is an indeed short-sighted, simplistic article.  This writer completely forgot that in the last Orl-Mia game, in Orlando, a similar scenario occured resulting in the Magic barely losing by a few points - massive Miami first and second quarters and a monumental collapse in the fourth.  This was not a one night fluke.  And give the Magic some credit for playing stalwart defense. But of course the national media is intoxicated with LeBron and Wade.  Maybe the Heat is a better team but the Magic is not Cleveland.

Since: Jan 28, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:29 am

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

Just keep dissing the Magic in the national  press. Let's only show Boston, Heat, NY highlight films and one day you'll wake up and see the headlines - "San Antonio lose NBA finals to team from Central Florida".

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 9:10 am

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

See the terrified and helpless look in Bibby's eyes as the guy he is sort of guarding blows right past him? Get used to it.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 8:48 am

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

Yes, the magic shot lights out from the three. But let's not pretend that's all there was to this come back. Had the Heat continued to score like they had in the first half, the threes wouldn't have mattered.

Instead, the Magic turned up the defense, kept the ball out of the hands of the the two "closers" and limited the Heat to 33 points for the entire second half.

Indeed, it's not like the Magic had some overwhelming 4th quarter - they only scored 28, and 26 in the 3rd. Those are pretty pedestrian numbers for this team. No, the real difference was what the Magic did to the Heat on the defensive end.

Now, if the Magic could only keep that intensity together for a full game, no would be talking about the Heat any longer.

Since: Aug 19, 2010
Posted on: March 4, 2011 6:28 am

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

what the heck is wrong with the heat?

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 12:35 am

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

The offense is just not in synch - I mean, these guys play fast and loose earlier, like they are running at the Y.  But, when they need to play with structure, either Spoelstra can't give it to them, or they can't figure it out.  Half court sets just start to look like clear outs - and with only two guys that are going to handle the ball, both likely to shoot, you have a lot of double team opportunities.  Yeah, Bosh will shoot, but he stands around when Wade and LBJ go into clear out mode.  Shows how valuable the triangle offense is, because everyone knows a structure to get people involved in a play, get a good shot opportunity.  Also, I loved the pushing foul called on Nelson, for pushing Dampier - hilarious, it was like something out of Inception.

Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2011 12:18 am

LeChoke does it again.

Everyone talks about how great he is, but how often do we see this same outcome.  Game on the line, Lebron chokes.  The Heat shouldn't have let the magic get back in the game but when it matters most Lebron fails yet again.  I agree with the other comment.  He will never be as good as MJ, stop the comparisions!  Kobe is a much better clutch player.  This coming from a Celtics fan.

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2011 12:07 am

Magic assault Heat from deep to come back from 24

The self-proclaimed "Chosen One" looks like he was the "Chosen One" who, CANNOT MAKE A MEANINGFUL BASKET!!!!

Will never be MJ, choking the last shots of the game five times in a row.

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