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Heat keep blasting their way through the NBA; today’s victim: Orlando

Feb 19, 2012, 7:36 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat Getty Images

The season series is tied. The Magic controlled the first game, won it handily, the final score not reflective of how well they played. So why does the Heat’s 90-78 win over the Orlando, a 12-point margin, same as the Magic’s in the first game, feel so much more important, so much more reflective of the gap between these two teams?

There is a rivalry between these two teams. A Florida battle between playoff teams. The game is supposed to be a signature win for the Heat, but instead it feels more like just another game for the Heat. Another team, another victim.

The Heat are the best team in the NBA right now. Chicago had the best record for most of the year (they now trail by a half game to Miami), the best defense, maybe the best coach. But Miami is the best team in the league, right now, at this moment. They may not be the best team in May, in June, they may fail as spectacularly as they did last year. But this game was another indication of how good Miami is right now. Everything people were afraid of about this Heat team in July 2010 looks true. Maybe more.

LeBron James guarded Dwight Howard on a handful of possessions. Not a significant number. Just a handful. The Heat’s team defense held Howard to 12 points on 10 shots, with 3 turnovers. Howard finished with 15 rebounds, but never looked plugged in. James, on the other hand was about as plugged in as it gets. 25 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers, in 36 minutes. So James scored or assisted on at least 41 points in 36 minutes (probably more with three-point assists). And, you know, 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks for Dwyane Wade on the side. Because he’s not bad, either.

Miami wreaked havoc on the Magic defensively as well, as expected. 37 percent from the field for Orlando. 14 turnovers. A world of hurt. Was Howard disinterested, or were the Magic not forcing the issue to get him the ball enough? These questions are not answerable. The results are the same.

The Magic are a good team. The Heat are better. That’s the lesson of Sunday’s game, regardless of what the season series record says.

  1. dominator71030 - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    I watched the whole first half of the game and stopped watching in the second half cause of the blowout but the Magic were just not making shots. They were open a lot of times but just couldnt make the baskets. Heat had some good defense at times but the Magic were just off tonight. Redick was the only one making anything on Orlando. Also, the magic always have a lot of turnovers no matter who they play.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Don’t be afraid. Just enjoy. Unselfish. Athletic. Deep. Fun. Exciting. Hungry. Unfinished business. Everything sportsfsns usually embrace.

    Take a deep breath. Relax. It’s okay. LeBron isn’t an evil guy. He’s just not media savvy. Most likely he’s probably a pretty good dude. Even if you dont like him as a person (even though you never met him), how can anyone not love his game? If you don’t, you just won’t and you never will. Your loss.

    • rodgersmvp - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      It really is just fun to watch the Heat play.

    • blueintown - Feb 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      You had me at everything but “deep”.

    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      The same Lebron haters will the same guys telling their grandchildren about how fortunate they were to see him play. Haters will hate. Lebron, you just keep playing.

  3. willardj - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Stop acting like the Heat are far and away the best team in the NBA. I don’t remember seeing any “OKC Thunder blasting their way through the NBA” headlines back when they had the best record.

    • cordae - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      Because they weren’t “blasting” just winning. All of Miamis recent wins has been in double figures..

  4. reupjosh - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    The great Miami fan base seems to enjoy it too, judging by the seats half full.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      The richest 1% of Miami is probably not the best way to judge the entire fanbase. The seats are sold. The people who can afford them are in the Dewar’s Suites hanging with other local rich people. Nothing anyone can do about it.

  5. trueballs - Feb 19, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Yeah that Miami home crowd is…questionable. OKC is tough at home…and they’re on pace to get homecourt for playoffs. And their two best players can score 91 points.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      If you’re looking for a Heat fan to say that the Heat are better than OKC, you’re coming to the wrong place. OKC is awesome. Who would deny?

      If the Heat and Thunder met in an All-Weather Report Finals, it will be interesting to see if our ragtag bunch of underpaid scrappers can keep up with your two,Alpha-Dog, 91 point scoring , Max contract superstars.

  6. steelerswin6 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    LeLoser will choke in the playoffs. Check the Cavs regular season records his last 2 years in CLE

    • mannyfresh209 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:18 AM

      Check his team’s record after he left. Now, apply common sense and logic. Next, realize that he had a HORRIBLE team in Cleveland. Finally, shooooooooooooosh!

  7. kevpft - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Why is this considered news? The Heat had the best record last year, and we saw what happened. LeBron’s Cavs had terrific regular-season records, and we saw what happened. This happens every year.

    Nothing about the Heat is actual news until the NBA finals. That’s ultimately what’s unrewarding about this team.

  8. jimeejohnson - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    What I’m looking forward to is seeing LeBron and Kevin Durant on the same team at this summer’s Olympics. Can you say invincible?

  9. AlohaMrHand - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    if and when the Heat do win the title David Stern should allow Art Model to preset Lebron with the trophy.

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