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Game 5 Of The Magic vs Cavaliers – The Preview

  • Tonight is Game 5 of the Magic vs Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoff first round, with the series all tied up at 2-2. The Magic are back in Cleveland and looking to break the run of home court victories in the series so far.

Playoff First Round Game 5 – Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • Venue – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tip time here in the U.K. is 1am, which is 8pm in Orlando and Cleveland.
  • To watch live or on demand in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

A Comparison On The Regular Season Stats

Orlando Magic

  • Record: 47-35
  • Run: Went 5-5 over the last 10 played to close the regular season.
  • Home Record 29-12 (29-11 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City).
  • Road Record 18-23
  • Finished: 5th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 110.5 Against 108.4
  • RatingOffensive 22nd Defensive 2nd

Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • Record: 48-34
  • Run: Went 4-6 in the last 10 played to close the regular season.
  • Home Record 26-15
  • Road Record 22-19
  • Finished: 4th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 112.6 Against 110.2
  • RatingOffensive 18th Defensive 6th

Recapping The Series

In Cleveland

  • The Magic could not buy a bucket in Game 1 as Cleveland took a deserved victory by 83-97. The Cavs came out red hot from beyond the arc, going 5-of-5, before cooling to 3-of-25. Orlando made just 36.2% of their shots, going 28-of-86 shooting. From three it was an embarrassing 8-of-37 and at the free throw line it was just 19-of-31. Of the Cavs 97 points 37 came in the opening quarter. Paolo Banchero led Orlando with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in his playoff debut. Donovan Mitchell led Cleveland with 30 points. Jarrett Allen had a double-double of 16 points and 18 rebounds.
  • Game 2 was a very similar story as the Cavs took a 86-96 win to lead the series 2-0. Again Cleveland made it difficult for the Magic to get into the paint, forcing continued hardship with shots from beyond the arc. Orlando shot just 9-of-35 from the three, and had 36.3% field goal percentage. Banchero led Orlando with 21 points and Mitchell the Cavs with 23 points. Jarrett Allen was again the difference with another double-double of 16 points and 20 rebounds. At no point through the first two games did Orlando hold a lead.

In Orlando

  • The Magic in the Kia Center have been dominating their opponents all season and so it proved in Game 3. A hugely improved rebounding and shooting performance, combined with another stifling defensive display created Orlando’s 83-121 victory. Paolo Banchero and Jalen Suggs were stellar. Banchero’s double-double including 31 points and saw him become the second-youngest player in NBA history to begin his playoff career with three consecutive 20-plus-point games. Only LeBron James did it younger. Suggs poured in 24 points and nullified the threat of Donovan Mitchell. Franz Wagner added a complete game performance of 16 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert led Cleveland with 15 points apiece.
  • Game 4 saw Orlando trailing by 9 points at halftime, however a dominant third quarter allowed the Magic to level the series 2-2 with a 89-112 win. The third quarter was for Magic fans a thing of beauty, outscoring the Cavs by 27. An almost perfect 12 minutes of Orlando defence saw Cleveland score just 10 points, shooting just 21.1%. In that period the Magic were red hot as they shot 59.1% over all and 60% from range. Franz Wagner was unplayable and finished with a 34 point and 13 rebound double-double. Franz was one of five Magic players to have double digit scoring. Jarrett Allen led the Cavs with 21 points, while Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley all recorded double digit scoring. 

Tonight For Game 5 Of The Magic vs Cavaliers

Orlando Magic

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Ty Jerome (right ankle surgery and out indefinitely), Craig Porter Jr (left ankle sprain) and Dean Wade (right knee sprain) all remain out.
  • Jarrett Allen has been downgraded to questionable with a rib contusion. Being such an important piece to the Cavs in a must win game I will be shocked if he does not play in some form.
  • The Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff is for me therefore likely to field the starting 5 that has played in every game so far, also being his preferred option. That unit is Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
  • Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang, Caris LeVert have been the bench core with Sam Merrill, Marcus Morris and Tristan Thompson seeing minutes.
  • Damian Jones has only played in one game so far, totalling 7 minutes. 
  • Emoni Bates, Isaiah Mobley and Pete Nance on two-way contracts likely remain inactive.

Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers – A Brief Head-To-Head

  • In 126 regular season games played the score stands at 65-61 to the Cavs.
  • The regular season saw a 2-2 split, with each team taking a road and home win. The margin of victory in those games was 10 and 27 for Cleveland, with 10 and 7 for the Magic.
  • Recent history very much favours Cleveland. The Cavs have won 8 of the last 11 regular season encounters, including a 4-0 sweep in the 2022-23 season. Prior to that the Magic had won 7 straight.
  • In the playoffs these two teams famously met in 2009, resulting in a 4-2 win for Orlando. In the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals the Magic made a strong start and claimed a Game 1 victory.

A Thought Or Two For Game 5 Of The Magic vs Cavaliers

  • With two emphatic wins for the Magic in Orlando the momentum has potentially swung into their favour. The Cavs will be desperate for the win tonight, along with an improved performance. Home court has been a huge advantage to both teams so far. Cleveland took Games 1 and 2 by an average of 12 points per game, the Magic hit back with an average margin of victory at 30.5 points per game.
  • The Magic squad has grown into the series, experiencing the difference in intensity, officiating and atmosphere in playoffs game for the first time.
  • Franz Wagner leads all scoring per game across the series with 21.5, followed closely by Paolo Banchero with 21.3. Donovan Mitchell leads the Cavs with 21 points per game.
  • Tonight the Magic look to break the streak of home court victories in the series. Coach Mosley responded to the sub-par rebounding and shooting performances in the opening two games by restoring Wendell Carter Jr to the starting unit. He will tonight want that improvement to be present on the road.
  • In the second half of Game 4, Orlando held Cleveland to 29 points, tied for the fewest allowed after halftime in Magic playoff history. That defensive intensity will need to continue.
  • There is now little either team does not know about the other. There is probably little either coach can do to surprise the other, and to do so comes at a risk of negatively impacting their performance. By this stage of a series the outcome is heavily dependent upon the players themselves and their determination to win.
  • Game 6, whatever the outcome of tonight will be back in Orlando on Friday night.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!