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Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic vs Miami Heat

The Orlando Magic host the Miami Heat in their third preseason game. After a pair of games Coach Vogel may have a few specifics that need to be sorted out.

With two preseason games in the books, the Orlando Magic have a slight idea of where everyone’s game is. With the Miami Heat coming to town this preseason game may mean a little more. The Heat will be Orlando’s first game of the regular season. With that in mind, it would be in the interest of both teams to use a regular season rotation to see how things might matchup during the season. With only 6 preseason games this year the last 2-3 games will most likely be used to figure out who occupies the last few roster spots. Here are a few things to watch for tonight.

More Minutes

Because Orlando will face Miami in the first game of the regular season Coach Vogel should take this opportunity to see how his normal rotation would fair. For a team like the Magic who have brought back their entire starting lineup from last season, the preseason is a little different. Unlike last year when the coaches were feeling out the team and seeing what works best, they already have an idea. They can allocate more minutes to the projected rotation this game instead of evaluating the end of the bench.

Intensity

Even though it is a preseason game, the rivalry between the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat will still be present. Whenever these two teams meet whether it’s playoffs or summer league the intensity goes up a notch. Both franchises fans look forward to this game in order to have bragging rights over the other. That passion spills over onto the court as the players do their best to get a victory. The Amway Center will likely be occupied by many Miami Heat fans as Orlando is a tourist/transient city. The Orlando Magic are working their way back to relevance and picking up a win against the Heat for the Magic fans in attendance would be great.

Strategy

Up to this point, it seems like Coach Frank Vogel was doing very few strategic adjustments during the games. The team has stuck to its plans when it comes to minutes and lineups. During tonight’s game look for the Magic to matchup with or exploit advantages against the Heat. If Orlando sees a weakness in Miami they might go after it a little more instead of trying to get everyone involved. Substitutions can be made to counter the moves of the Miami Heat. Overall, there will be a more calculated approach to picking up the win against Miami tonight.

On the flipside, Orlando could also take the opposite approach. With Miami being their first regular season game Orlando might elect to hold back and not show too much.

Tonight’s Game: Orlando Magic vs Miami Heat 7:00pm Amway Center Orlando, FL

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Vincent is the editor of Orlando Magic content for The Oliver's Twist.

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