Tuesday 26th March 2019

Event of the Day: Heat versus Magic

Our event of the day is the NBA clash between Floridian rivals, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic at the AmericanAirlines Arena. We have now reached the closing weeks of the regular season and both franchises are still well in the hunt to clinch a playoff berth, with Miami sitting eighth in the East whilst Orlando reside one spot behind them in ninth. With four of the eight playoff spots already occupied in the Eastern Conference, the remaining sides are left to battle it out for the remaining four and both Miami and Orlando will know how key a win in tonight’s game could be to fulfilling their postseason aspirations. In recent weeks, the Heat have proven their playoff credentials by overcoming some of the league’s most prolific opponents including the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, they are far from home and hosed just yet in the playoff race and still have to play the Boston Celtics twice as well as the Toronto Raptors in a tricky road trip meaning they have a far from favourable run in. This, therefore, places even greater importance on the outcome of tonight’s game as Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra will be well aware that wins will be even harder to come by in the denouement of this campaign. Dwyane Wade is enjoying his swan song before going into retirement this summer and the three-time NBA champ will be as desperate as any player in the league to grace the playoffs one last time. Orlando are one of the league’s form teams right now and have won five of their last six outings.

However, each of these five wins came on their home court whilst their last four road games have all ended in defeat which is an issue head coach Steve Clifford will need to address if his side are to clinch a playoff berth this year. The Orlando faithful will be desperate to see their beloved team do just that having missed out on postseason basketball in each of the last six seasons. Center Nikola Vučević has had another dominant season in Magic colours and leads the team in points, steals and rebounds per game. The 7ft tall Montenegrin will be looking to close the season in similar fashion as he looks to make just his second appearance in the playoffs. Orlando currently lead the regular season series between these adversaries by two games to one and Miami will be searching for parity for the season in the Sunshine State tonight.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Euro 2020 qualifier between Norway and Sweden at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo. The hosts will be eager to bounce back from defeat last time out at the hands of Spain, whilst Sweden will look to extend their perfect start to the campaign having already beaten Romania on Matchday 1. Elsewhere, there is plenty more NBA action to watch out for tonight as the Milwaukee Bucks welcome the Houston Rockets to the Fiserv Forum whilst Detroit will make the long journey to face the Denver Nuggets in Denver. In the Indian Premier League, the league leaders are in action as the Delhi Capitals host the Chennai Super Kings at Feroz Shah Kotla. The race for the playoffs is heating up in the NHL as Metropolitan Division rivals Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes do battle at the Capital One Arena tonight. Finally, Novak Djokovic will continue his bid to secure a record-breaking seventh title at the Miami Open today as he faces Roberto Bautista Agut.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NBA

 

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