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Round 2 Of The Magic vs Cavaliers

  • Tonight sees round 2 of the Magic vs Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoff first round, with Cleveland leading 1-0.

Playoff First Round Game 2 – Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • Venue – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tip time here in the U.K. is midnight, which is 7pm in Orlando and Cleveland.
  • To watch live or on demand in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Recapping 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

Tonight For Round 2 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) are all out for game 2.
  • The Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff is likely to field the same starting 5 of Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen as in game 1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
  • Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang, Caris LeVert and Sam Merrill came from the bench.
  • Damian Jones, Marcus Morris and Tristan Thompson did not play in game 1. 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 smallest 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. Orlando have only won 3 of the last 11 regular season encounters, including a 0-4 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.

Looking Back On Game 1

  • Cleveland took a deserved victory by 83-97. The Cavs came out red hot from beyond the arc, going 5-of-5. After that early barrage they made just 3-of-25. 
  • Orlando struggled shooting all night. From the field they made just 36.2%, on 28-of-86 shooting. From three it was frankly embarrassing at times, going 8-of-37 for a 21.6% three-point field goal percentage. The shooting woes for the Magic continued at the free throw line also making just 19 of 31 attempts. 
  • The defence from Orlando was outside of the first quarter exceptional. The Cavs scored 97 points in total with 37 of those coming in the opening quarter.
  • Regardless of how good your defence is, if the Magic continue to shoot that badly it will be a short series. It also has to be said that many of the misses by Orlando were from good looks.
  • Cleveland took advantage of any live ball turnover by Orlando, scoring at a rate of 1.5 points per Magic turnover. 
  • The real killer outside of an ability to put the ball in the hoop was Orlando being dominated on the glass as Cleveland pulled down defensive rebounds, seemingly with little ease.
  • Somewhat of a surprise to all was that Gary Harris was tasked with the job of slowing Donovan Mitchell, seeing Jalen Suggs primarily on Darius Garland.
  • Paolo Banchero led Orlando with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in his playoff debut. Franz Wagner had 18 points and 3 blocks and Jalen Suggs 13 points. Jonathan Isaac played his usual brand of stifling defence that produced 3 steals and 3 blocks whilst also adding 10 points. Moritz Wagner had the only significant bench contribution with 10 points.
  • Donovan Mitchell led Cleveland with 30 points, getting his offence going early. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen each had 16 points, whilst Allen also took 18 rebounds. Mobley blocked three shots.

A Thought Or Two For Round 2 Of The Magic vs Cavaliers

  • A series is not about a single game. Yes the Magic lost game 1 but the sky is not falling in. The opening game in this series just confirmed what we have known all season, this team requires another ball handler and floor spacing. 
  • The majority of the Magic squad were experiencing a playoff game for the first time. That is now behind them, they know what to expect.
  • Tidying up some mistakes is also to be expected, including 9 turnovers by Paolo Banchero. We all know that he is his own hardest critic and responds well to when his own personal expectations are not met.
  • There is an immediate opportunity for Orlando to make adjustments. Generally during the regular season the Magic have bounced back well from a poor offensive performance. Those shooting numbers are well below the season averages for this Magic team.
  • That same defensive intensity with an improved shooting percentage can see the series levelled as it then heads to the Kia Center. 

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview