MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Florida NBA teams are having a bit of a rough go so far in 2016.
The Orlando Magic came into this season with very high expectations and have yet to show on a consistent basis that they are a playoff caliber team through 29 games.
Orlando followed a promising 4-1 road trip with five losses in the last seven games and looks to begin turning things back in a positive direction Tuesday when it visits the similarly disappointing Miami Heat.
The Magic lost by more than 20 points for the third time in 12 days on Sunday when the Toronto Raptors rolled to a 119-79 victory in Orlando.
Coach Frank Vogel said the Magic did not play team basketball and center Bismack Biyombo told reporters, “This is a great opportunity for us to start thinking about who we want to be. And what you bring to the table, bring it every night and be the best at it. That’s what’s going to help us win. It seems like we’re a little bit all over the place, taking bad shots.”
The Heat have been hampered by injuries all season, managing to win just two of their last nine games while struggling to get consistent contributions outside of guard Goran Dragic and center Hassan Whiteside.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN Sun (Heat)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (12-17): Orlando, which led by seven after one quarter Sunday, shot 41 percent from the field while missing 18 of its 21 attempts from 3-point range, turning the ball over 20 times and managing 13 assists on 34 field goals.
Leading scorer Evan Fournier (17.4) had a team-high 15 points against the Raptors and is averaging 21.4 on 52.6 percent shooting over the last five contests.
Key offseason acquisition Serge Ibaka put together games of 22 and 29 points against Denver and Atlanta, but made 2-for-8 from 3-point range and averaged 12 in three games since.
ABOUT THE HEAT (9-19): Miami won the first two of its current six-game homestand before losing a close game to the Los Angeles Clippers and dropping a 105-95 decision against Boston on Sunday after falling behind 18 through one quarter.
“We’ve become sort of a second-half team,” Heat guard Justise Winslow old reporters. “. … We’ve got to find a way to get that second-half intensity in the first half.”
Dragic (19.1 points per game) scored at least 30 in two of the last four games and Whiteside (17.6 points, 14.8 rebounds overall) owns four consecutive double-doubles.
- The Heat have won six of the last seven meetings, including a 108-96 triumph in Orlando on opening night.
- Orlando SG Jodie Meeks is 2-for-12 from the field – 0-for-5 behind the 3-point arc – in three games since scoring 20 in Atlanta on Dec. 13.
- Miami is expected to be without SG Rodney McGruder (ankle) on Tuesday and SG Wayne Ellington (hamstring) is questionable.
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