The Miami Heat came out hot in their opening game of the season against their in-state opponents the Orlando Magic. The Miami Heat have a different look on the court this season due to players such as Dwyane Wade leaving for the Chicago Bulls. Chris Bosh was removed from the team due to medical issues.
The Big 3 era in Miami is officially over now that those players have departed, but now it is time for the team to rebuild and Pat Riley has started that process in the past few seasons. The players that the team has acquired over the past few season will make this team a contender in the eastern conference.
Hassan Whiteside is a player that has bounced around the NBA, but now he has found a home with the Heat and he is playing with a chip on his shoulder. Whiteside is one of the better big men in the league and he shows it every night.
His high energy is hard for opposing teams to keep up with and his numbers tell that story. In last night’s game Whiteside would collect a double double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. He is very alert around the basket on offense and defense and that is why he is such a great big man.
Justise Winslow the second year forward out of Duke also made a big impact in the opening game of the season. He would finish the game with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Winslow showed great ball handling ability last season, and now he is going to get more playing time this year and show his talents off.
Dion Waiters had his debut as a member of the Heat last night and his points total would not be in the double digits, but he would finish with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Waiters did have a productive game and helped his team with the win.
The Magic kept the game close, but they could not capitalize on the offensive end. Serge Ibaka made his debut for the Magic last night and had a good game scoring 14 points, and grabbing 7 rebounds. Last night the Magic did not have good production off of their bench and that is why they lost the game.
The bench only accounted for 17 of the 96 points scored for the team in the game. The Magic starters all scored in the double digits, but their bench had an issue in that area. The Heat bench had 3 players in the double digits and that showed up in their final score.
In most categories the Heat played better than the Magic. The Magic had 11 turnovers while the Heat had 10. The Heat would finish with 52 total rebound and the Magic would finish with 44. Another important statistic in this game is the Heat’s 27 total assist, and the Magic finishing with 20.
The way the Heat moved the ball during this game and got fast break points helped them play at their own pace. If they can control games like this they can be a tough team to beat this season. Their next game will be a first round playoff rematch against the Charlotte Hornets.