Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic: The Sunshine State Rivalry
When Do the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic Play Next?
Are the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic Rivals?
Yes, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic are rivals. Their rivalry – known as the Sunshine State rivalry – stems from both teams being located in Florida and being part of the Eastern Conference Southeast Division of the NBA.
Who Are the Miami Heat’s Biggest Rivals?
Besides the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat’s biggest rivals are the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat also have a historic rivalry with the New York Knicks that stems back to both teams meeting in the playoffs four times in a row between 1997 and 2000.
Who are the Orlando Magic’s Biggest Rivals?
Along with the Miami Heat, the Orlando Magic’s biggest rivals are the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics. The Magic also have a rivalry with the Chicago Bulls, being the only team to knock the Bulls out of the playoffs from 1991 to 1998.
Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic Series History
Although the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic don’t have the most historic playoff record, the rivalry remains strong. Whether it be from geographical pride or Floridian competitiveness, the crowds always seem to gather and swell up in excitement whenever these two teams play each other. Roughly 235 miles away, both teams break out all the stops in order to defeat their fellow Floridian opponents. These two teams have only met once in the playoffs, a competitive Eastern Conference First Round in 1997, which saw the spectacular performance by Orlando’s Penny Hardaway as he scored back-to-back 40-plus point games, being the first Orlando Magic player to score 40-plus in any playoff game. Unfortunately for Hardaway, the Heat won in five games.
The rivalry remained strong, especially when LeBron James announced he would be joining the Miami Heat in 2010, causing resentment between the two teams over the flurry of media coverage for the Miami Heat. The Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat have never held the top spots in the NBA at the same time. During the Magic’s success from 1995 to 2009, the Heat were figuring out their lineup, and during the Miami Heat’s success from 2006–2013, the Magic were rebuilding their franchise. Even though there was a slight overlap in the success of both teams, they never really matched up to see a true postseason rivalry. The rivalry was lightly stoked during the 2020 NBA All-Star weekend when the Magic’s Aaron Gordon completed five straight perfect dunks in the dunk contest, but was still beaten by the Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr.
True fans of the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic know the rivalry between them remains strong and stems from one thing: Florida pride.
Where Do the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic Play?
The Miami Heat play at Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. Kaseya Center has gone through several different names since opening in 2000, but has been home to the Miami Heat since its inaugural season.
The Orlando Magic play at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Amway Center was formerly named the Orlando Arena and TD Waterhouse Centre.
Image courtesy of the Miami Heat via Facebook
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