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The Magic Resume At The Cleveland Cavaliers

  • After the All-Star break NBA basketball is back and it sees the Magic resume at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Orlando have 27 games remaining as they push for the playoffs. 

Regular Season Game 56 – Orlando Magic

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

Orlando Magic 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 30-25
  • Run: Won 1 and are 7-3 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 18-8 (18-7 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City).
  • Road Record 12-17
  • Standing: 8th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 111.7 Against 110.9
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 4th

Last Time Out For Orlando: vs New York Knicks 

  • The Magic took a home court win against the Knicks ahead of All-Star by 100- 118 on February 14th.
  • A heavily undermanned Knicks led by 12 points early in the second quarter. However a Magic team with some absences themselves rallied, outscoring the Knicks by 19 in the second, winning the third and fourth also.
  • Paolo Banchero put up 36 points without a taking a free throw. He hit 15 of his 20 field goal attempts, including making 6 of his 10 3-point-shots. Paolo further added 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
  • Franz Wagner had 21 points and 6 assists.
  • Cole Anthony (11 points) and Moe Wagner (10 points) both came from the bench and were the only other Magic players to score double digits.
  • The starting lineup was Anthony Black, Caleb Houstan, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles and Moritz Wagner were the core used. Trevelin Queen, Jett Howard, Chuma Okeke and Goga Bitadze saw minutes as for the final 3 minutes did Kevon Harris and Admiral Schofield
  • Markelle Fultz and Gary Harris were both unavailable on the second night of a back-to-back at this point as part of their injury management plan. Jalen Suggs was a late scratch with a groin issue.

Tonight

  • Paolo Banchero is listed as questionable with an illness.
  • Markelle Fultz is confirmed as out with an issue to the knee.
  • Jett Howard is unavailable having been re-assigned to the G-League with the Osceola Magic.
  • Kevon Harris is also listed as out being two-way G-League.
  • Expect the coach to insert Anthony Black into the starting unit with Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • If Paolo is a no go it will be interesting to see who gets the start in his place as there are several permutations between JI, Joe Ingles, Moe Wagner and Chuma Okeke.

The Cleveland Cavaliers 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 36-17 Run: Won 1 and are at 9-1 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 2nd in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 114.9 Against 109.2
  • RatingOffensive 16th Defensive 2nd
  • The Cavs have been excellent both home and away, holding a 19-9 home record.
  • Despite having dealt with some key injuries the Cavs had been playing exceptional basketball, seeing them rise up the Eastern Conference.
  • Defensively they are immaculate, restricting opponents shooting from all areas. They are 3rd for least points conceded in the paint. Defensive rebounding is another strength, seeing them hold second chance points to 12.8 (5th fewest, the Magic are 3rd at 12.6). The Cavs do force opponents into turnovers.
  • That defensive statistic score well on fast breaks and from opponent turnovers. The Cavs take a high number of three pointers and make plenty. When they attack the paint it is with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Donovan Mitchell is the team leader in scoring with an improved points per game since the teams last met of 28.4 (4th best in the NBA). He also leads the team on steals (1.9 per game, which is 2nd in the NBA) and assists (6.8). 

Last Time Out For The Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • The Cavs took a home win over the Chicago Bulls by 105-108 on February 14th.
  • The Bulls led going into the final period by 5. With a minute to go the score was tied. A series of free throw makes down the final minute saw the Cavs take the W.
  • Six of the eight players used by Cleveland scored in double-digits. Donovan Mitchell led the team with 30 points and 7 assists. Jarrett Allen produced a 13 points and 10 rebounds double-double. Isaac Okoro led the bench with 16 points. Double digit scoring was rounded out by Evan Mobley (14), Darius Garland (12) and Georges Niang (11).
  • Starting 5 – Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen 
  • Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang and Caris LeVert played from the bench.
  • Damian Jones and Zhaire Smith were available but not used by the coach. 
  • Sam Merrill, Ty Jerome, Emoni Bates, Isaiah Mobley, Craig Porter Jr, Tristan Thompson and Dean Wade were all inactive.

Tonight

  • Ty Jerome is the only player listed on the Cavs injury report as being out. His is an indefinite absence following an ankle injury.
  • However, Donovan Mitchell is questionable for the game. As with Paolo his is an illness issue. 
  • Coach JB Bickerstaff will choose between Caris LeVert and Sam Merrill if Spida is unable to play. Otherwise he will go with the same starting five, being their strongest unit.

Head-To-Head With The Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • In 125 regular season games played the score stands at 65-60 to the Cavs.
  • As the Magic resume at the Cleveland Cavaliers this is the final of four fixtures between the two teams this season. 
  • The first on game day 21 saw Orlando fall to a 111-121 road loss after an opening quarter that saw the Cavs score 37 points. A 17 point deficit at the end of the first was extended in the second to 23. The Magic clawed it back to within 5 points mid way in the third. However, every time Orlando put a run together Cleveland were able to find a score to break the momentum. 
  • Shortly after on game day 23 a 94-104 home court victory for the Magic over the Cleveland Cavaliers came in a hard fought fixture. The second half display was Magic basketball at its best. The intense defence led to the offence clicking. It was arguably one of the best wins of the season.
  • On the second night of a back-to-back on game day 44 in Orlando, the Magic produced a disjointed energy-less performance, coming out second best in every facet of the game. It led to a comprehensive defeat by 126-99. Neither team played any of their starting players in the entire fourth quarter. The Cavs had come out fast, hit the Magic hard early and did not let up until the white flag was waved by Orlando. 
  • Last season was a 0-4 sweep to the Cavaliers.
  • Orlando have only won 2 of the last 10 regular season encounters. Prior to that the Magic had won 7 straight.

A Final Thought As The Magic Resume At The Cleveland Cavaliers

  • This game for Orlando is against our highest ranking remaining opponent. As a way to resume after All-Star it could not be more difficult for the Magic than this.
  • With 27 games remaining the Magic have on paper the easiest remaining schedule.
  • The push to continue at an above .500 season record and to climb the standings starts here. Only three games separate the Magic in 8th and New York in 4th.

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GO MAGIC!