Friday, March 19, 2010
Orlando and Miami a 2 Versus 7 preview?
Miami has a big home game coming up against Charlotte if it wants to overtake them for the Eastern Conference's 6th seed. The Bobcats will be on the second game of a back to back that starts tonight in Atlanta, so there is reason to be optimistic. Two straight losses by the Cats would give Miami a 1/2 game lead on them.
However, should Miami remain in their current position, the #2 seed Orlando would be the first round opponent. At first glance it is a matchup we want no part of. However, JO seems to play with a lot more fire when he is up against Dwight. Also, the addition of Vince and subtraction of Hedo has made them a lot better of a match up for us, because it inserts two knuckle heads into the Orlando lineup in Mr. Carter and Matt Barnes. Rashard Lewis is not a true power forward, so they only have a noticeable size advantage when they go to their bench... assuming Dwight is kept relatively in check.
As frustrating as it has been to watch Miami fall behind at home to the Spurs and Magic and then come up short with their exhilarating comebacks, the mere fact that they have comebacks in them when other teams would have already packed it in is encouraging.
If Miami does want to avoid Orlando and Cleveland in the first round, they need to get hot right now as Charlotte, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Toronto are four of the next five opponents, along with the Nets. The final 8 games of the season will be against teams that are way under .500.
The ideal scenario seems to be the 6th seed and a first round match-up with Atlanta (who is battling Boston for playoff positioning), followed by a series with Orlando. However, I don't sense that Miami is afraid facing the Magic in the first round. They were one play away from taking the series 3-1. Hopefully Spoelstra and his boys put in some overtime on those late game scenarios that have seen potential victories against Orlando, Boston, Cleveland and Los Angeles (among many others) turn into gut wrenching defeats. This team has a hard enough road ahead without giving games away at the end.