Updated: November 24, 2010, 4:19 PM ET

Paint Job: Miami Must Control Inside

By Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh

Seven shot attempts in the basket area -- that's all Miami surrendered to Orlando in the teams' first meeting on Oct. 29. Although Dwight Howard played only 29 minutes after falling into early foul trouble, the Heat's razor-sharp defensive schemes deserve much of the credit for confining the Magic's half-court game to the outskirts of the perimeter.

Rewatching the game nearly four weeks later is a bizarre exercise. The Heat's defense against Orlando is spinning at 78 RPM. Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem and the basketball player formerly known as Joel Anthony jump out aggressively onto Jameer Nelson's shoulder on every ball screen. Those dribble-handoffs run through Dwight Howard at the top of the key. Every Magic recipient is either met by a defender on the other side or is denied altogether with the Heater playing directly on his hip.

While the Magic pass the ball around the perimeter desperately searching for a way in, the Heat tighten the pressure on the ball side of the floor, doing their best Boston Celtics imitation. On the rare occasions when Nelson or other perimeter players are able to make progress or Howard receives an entry pass off the block, Miami's help-line defense is quick and decisive with its rotations. We haven't seen that kind of effort from Miami in almost a month -- but beating the Magic on their home floor will demand it.

Click here to read the rest at ESPN.com's Heat Index.

Heavyweight Showdown: Heat Battle Magic

Fantasy Focus: Williams In Avery's Doghouse

By Tom Carpenter
Special to ESPN.com

Nets coach Avery Johnson suspended Terrence Williams for Tuesday's and Wednesday's games. Johnson said he'd already fined Williams numerous times for disciplinary reasons, and a suspension was the next step. From our perspective, it's the next step toward fantasy anonymity. Williams still has plenty of talent, but that means nothing when you get on the court for only 14 minutes in seven games before being suspended for a pair of games. Don't forget about Williams, but he's so far in Avery's doghouse it's safe to cut him for another player who is actually playing in basketball games.

Click here for more fantasy basketball news and notes.

NBA News And Notes: CP3 vs. D-Will

By Elias Sports Bureau

• A battle of elite point guards will take place Wednesday night when Chris Paul and the Hornets tip off against Deron Williams and the Jazz. Paul and Williams, who both joined the league in 2005, have faced each other 14 times in their careers, with Utah posting 11 victories in those games. Their per-game statistics are very similar in head-to-head play: Williams 16.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 2.8 turnovers; Paul 15.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 turnovers.

Dirk Nowitzki's 33.7 points-per-game average is the highest for any NBA player against the Thunder since their relocation. LeBron James (31.5) is the only other player averaging at least 30 ppg during that time against the Thunder.

• The Heat have been outrebounded 574-572 this season. It's a difference of only two boards, but since the 1970-71 season, only three teams have won an NBA title after being outrebounded during the regular season.

Click here for more pregame notes from the Elias Sports Bureau.


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