NBA Preview: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic @ LeBron James, Miami Heat

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NBA Preview: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic @ LeBron James, Miami Heat
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Tipoff: 8:00 PM ET Friday, October 29, 2010

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

TV: ESPN (OnlineESPN3.COM)

Spread: Miami by 3.5

Records: Miami 1-1, Orlando 1-0

Notes

  • Orlando GM Otis Smith on LeBron James this summer: “I was surprised that he went to Miami. I thought he was, I guess, more of a competitor.” Think LeBron has a little extra motivation tonight?
  • Orlando is on their first back-to-back of the season after disposing of the Wizards 122-83 last night.

Keys To The Game

Challenge Orlando’s shooters

Orlando has an impressive collection of shooters in J.J. Redick, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter and Quentin Richardson.

They’re at their best when Dwight Howard draws double teams and kicks it out to open shooters. Miami must close out hard and fast.

Rebounds

Howard’s biggest impact is on the glass.

Although every Heat big man will be undersized in this matchup, it’s critical they put bodies on him on the boards or it’s going to be a long night. Will Dexter Pittman or Jamaal Magloire see some “bang time” tonight?

Attack Howard

The best way to beat Howard is to go right at him.

He has a tendency to commit fouls in bunches, and Miami has a big advantage offensively out on the wing. Look for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to attack the rim with ferocity and put Howard on the bench early.

Move the ball

In the opener against Boston, Miami’s offense was incredibly stagnant in the first half.

It was a product of too much dribbling and some awful decision making. They need to have more movement off the ball.

Bosh Ball

Chris Bosh has only 23 shots in the first two games.

That’s a problem.

They have to be more aggressive in utilizing his versatility on offense. He is a big-time player who needs to establish himself inside. I’d like to see him be more aggressive than he’s been thus far.

None of the Magic’s forwards have a prayer of containing him one on one, although Howard on Bosh is a possibility.

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