Now that Dwight Howard has committed his short term future to the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat might want to develop a game plan to stop the league’s most unstoppable center, especially with a possible playoff showdown in the offing.
The Heat take on the Magic for the fourth and last time this year, coming in with a 1-2 record against Orlando –one of two teams to have beaten Miami twice this year, along with Milwaukee.
The Heat will be glad that the game is Miami as they have lost both times the teams played in Orlando and won in their first match up in South Florida. Miami has also lost four games in a row on the road.
As for Howard, he had a commanding 24 point, 25 rebound game last time the two teams battled in Orlando’s overtime win.
His performance highlighted Miami's difficulties in handling a large physical presence at the center position.
But if the big center has been dominant in Orlando against the Heat, he’s been sub-par in Miami where he’s averaging 14.4 points in his last five visits.
Miami is also coming into the game, at 7 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena, with a 12-game home winning streak.
Miami (32-11) has a four game lead over the Magic (29-16) in the Southeastern Division and is three games behind the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the league.
The Heat ended a two-game losing streak in Philadelphia on Friday when they held on to beat the Sixers 84-78 after almost blowing a 29-point third quarter lead.
LeBron James finished with 29 points and 8 assists in the game while Dwyane Wade only scored 12 (on 6-16 shooting) but did collect 11 rebounds.