Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Heat

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2014

Jan 4, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second quarter of the game against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat (25-8) bounced back from a loss against the Golden State Warriors with a 110-94 win over the Orlando Magic (10-23) on Saturday night. 

While it wasn't the prettiest of efforts from Miami, it was able to take advantage of a Magic defense that entered the night ranked 11th in defensive efficiency, hitting on 54 percent of its field goals in the win. 

After leading by only two points at halftime, the Heat came out and played with purpose in the third quarter, outscoring the Magic by nine in the period. They then followed that up with a 29-point fourth quarter. 

Jameer Nelson led the Magic with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three, and he was one of five Orlando players to finish in double figures.

Key Miami Players

LeBron James, Small Forward

Whether it was his shot selection or the commendable defensive effort from Tobias Harris, LeBron James couldn't seem to work himself into a groove during a first half in which the Heat shot 53 percent from the field.

James opened the game with two points on 1-of-6 shooting, although he was facilitating effectively, and dished out five first-half assists while committing three turnovers. 

And with all that said, James was halfway to a triple-double at halftime, compiling six points and five rebounds to go with those five dimes. 

However, perhaps James' underwhelming shooting had something to do with lingering pain, as B/R's Ethan Skolnick observed during the fourth quarter:  

In total, he mustered 15 points (5-of-13 shooting), eight assists, eight rebounds and three turnovers. 

Grade: B-

Dwyane Wade, Shooting Guard

Dwyane Wade followed up a 22-point outing against the Warriors with a very nice performance against the Magic.

Miami's most consistent offensive catalyst during the first half, Wade propelled the Heat's hot start to the second quarter and finished the game's first 24 minutes with a team-high 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. And while his production tapered off slightly in the second half, Wade finished with 20 points on an efficient 8-of-15 shooting to go with six rebounds and four dimes. 

It was a little surprising that Erik Spoelstra opted to play Wade on the first night of a back-to-back, but Wade looked spry and energetic in 36 minutes. 

Grade: A

Jan 4, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) dunks the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh, Center

The Magic were without stud center Nikola Vucevic, and Chris Bosh seemed to be well aware of that fact.

With Orlando starting the undersized Glen Davis, Bosh found points easy to come by, whether he was diving to the rim off of pick-and-rolls or converting on his patented mid-range jumpers. 

Bosh was feeling it early, opening 4-of-4 with eight points, but it looked like Miami could have done better to feed its versatile big man more during a first half in which the Magic matched the Heat shot for shot. 

He tied a team high with 20 points and didn't miss one of his nine field-goal attempts. 

Grade: A-

Mario Chalmers, Point Guard

Things didn't look good for Mario Chalmers early, as Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson bombed away from three to the tune of nine points in the game's opening quarter. 

Chalmers was also the last Heat player to enter the scoring column, and he didn't make a particularly significant offensive impact, although his production did ramp up in the second half, as he finished with a respectable line consisting of nine points and six assists. 

Grade: C-

Ray Allen, Sixth Man

On a night when the Heat shot 38 percent from beyond the arc, Ray Allen and his legendary wrist flick were nowhere to be found. 

Miami's elder statesman was quiet throughout, scoring a single point on 0-of-4 shooting (0-of-2 from three) in 18 minutes off the bench. 

He's now scored in single digits in three of his last four games. 

Grade: F

Rashard Lewis, Power Forward 

Starting in place of Shane Battier, who had the day off on Saturday, Rashard Lewis came out firing against the Magic. 

The former Orlando swingman drilled four of his first five looks from the floor, scoring not just off the catch, but off the dribble as well. 

When the first quarter concluded, Lewis led all Heat scorers with 10 points, and he finished with 18 on 6-of-11 shooting on the evening. 

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 4: Rashard Lewis #9 of the Miami Heat drives against the Orlando Magic on January 4, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, Us
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

Heat fans should cross their fingers and hope that Lewis can churn out a few more double-figure outings in clutch spots once the postseason gets underway. 

"He was definitely the MVP for our team tonight," James said after the game, according to the Heat's official Twitter account. 

Grade: A


Other than Allen, Michael Beasley, Norris Cole and Chris Andersen were the only bench contributors of note for the Heat on a night when four of their starters finished in double figures and carried most of the scoring weight. 

Beasley continued to state his case as the most explosive member of the team's second unit, scoring a bench-high 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, while Cole added eight points, six rebounds and a team-high four turnovers in the win. 

Andersen didn't make a profound impact in the scoring column (six points), but he provided decent energy on the glass with three rebounds. 

Beasley's performance boosted the bench's grade considerably. 

Grade: B+

What's Next?

The Heat will cap off the second night of a back-to-back at home on Sunday when they host the Toronto Raptors, who have won eight of their last 10 games. 


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