As the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head into the All-Star break, one player from each squad will be suiting up on Sunday in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
Two Very Different All-Stars
Nikola Vucevic and Dwyane Wade are both 2019 NBA All-Stars this year, but their situations are very different. Nikola Vucevic, in his seventh NBA season, is a first-time all-star this year. He’s averaging 20.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.
All of those figures are career-highs for the Magic big man. Most would not have predicted Vucevic to be an all-star this year, but he’s having a career season. He has earned the special selection for the first time in his career.
— NBA (@NBA) February 15, 2019
On the other side of the coin, Dwyane Wade is in his 16th NBA season. He’s won three championships, one Finals MVP, and has 12 previous all-star appearances. Sunday’s match-up will be Wade’s 13th all-star appearance. He’s been here before, and he even won the 2010 All-Star Game MVP. This selection, however, is different from the rest. Wade was selected as an “honorary” all-star as a celebration of his legendary NBA career.
Where the Teams Stand
As Vucevic enjoys his first All-Star Weekend and Wade celebrates his last, both of their NBA teams are resting up in preparation for the home-stretch of the season. The Magic and Heat are in a similar position at this point. Orlando is at 27-32 and is the 10th seed in the eastern conference. Miami is 26-30 and is the ninth seed in the east.
These two teams could be battling for the same playoff spot throughout the end of this season. The Magic, however, have been red-hot lately. They have won five straight games and seven of their last eight. All the Magic have to do is try to stay hot when they come out of the break.
The Heat are trending in the opposite direction. They have lost six of their last eight games. Coach Erik Spoelstra will likely be using some of the break to try and figure out how to turn Miami’s season around.
Dwyane Wade and Nikola Vucevic will be competing with some of the world’s best players on Sunday night in Charlotte at 8:00 p.m. EST. Through the all-star draft, Wade is on Team Lebron and Vucevic is on Team Giannis.