The NBA season finally gets underway this week, and after opening night contests involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, it will be the turn of the beaten NBA finalists from last season on Wednesday evening. The Miami Heat will open the season with a trip on the road to the Orlando Magic.
Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic Odds
|Miami Heat (-5.0)||-110|
|Orlando Magic (+5.0)||-110|
Heat Looking To Build On Last Season
The Miami Heat were certainly the surprise package in the NBA last season, as very few people would have expected them to make it all the way through to the finals. It was an even bigger achievement when you consider the quality of sides that they beat to reach that stage. The Heat knocked out the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the semi-finals, before eliminating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. Of course, last season’s achievements count for very little when the new season gets underway, but there were enough bright sparks from those performances that could indicate that the Heat could be a force in the East this season.
A number of their biggest stars already look to be getting back to near their best judging from the performances that they put in during pre-season. Miami lost once and won once during pre-season, with their only win coming against the Toronto Raptors last weekend. The Heat scored more than 30 points in two of the quarter to win the game 117-105. Kezie Okpala was the standout player at the Amalie Arena for the Heat, as he scored 24 points. Meanwhile, there were 22 points for Max Strus. Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo both scored more than ten points in the victory.
Magic Hoping For Playoff Finish
The Magic would have been pleased that they managed to finish in a playoff spot for the second time in as many seasons last term. However, that joy was ultimately ended as they were well beaten by the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round. A third consecutive playoff finish will be the aim for the Magic once again this term, but their chances of doing that could be negatively impacted due to the sheer number of sides that will also be looking for a playoff spot this season.
The Eastern Conference is the most competitive in the NBA, which means that the Magic will need to prove their worth in this division throughout the season. It hasn’t been the worst of pre-seasons for the Magic, as they have won two of their four games. The last of their wins came at the weekend, as they beat the Charlotte Hornets 120-117. Confidence will also be high, as the Magic have recently announced that they have extended the contracts of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz.
Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic Picks
There is little doubt that the Heat will be one of the most intriguing sides to watch this season. They will start the new campaign with a victory against the Orlando Magic.