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The Orlando Magic Aim To Bounce Back

  • With the 9 game winning streak over the Orlando Magic aim to bounce back to winning ways tonight on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers. To do so the Magic must overcome the disappointment of both the result and the performance in Brooklyn that halted their franchise record equaling run of wins. 

Regular Season Game 21 – Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • Venue – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio 
  • U.K. tip time is midnight, which is 7pm for both our friends in Orlando and local in Cleveland. 
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 14-6 (joint 3rd best record in the NBA with Milwaukee) 
  • Run: lost 1, 9-1 in the last 10 games played.
  • Home Record 9-2 (9-1 in the Amway Center; the Atlanta “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 5-4
  • Standing: 2nd in the East (tied with Milwaukee, though at present Orlando hold the tie-breaker)
  • Points Per GameFor 114.2 (15th) Against 110 (6th)
  • RatingOffensive 18th Defensive 3rd
  • After the defeat in Brooklyn the Magic’s season ratings took a slight back step on both offensive and defensive play.
  • Somewhat concerning for the Magic is that in the last 4 games played Orlando have conceded 117 points or more. It is the clearest indication that the defensive play has not been as locked in as was seen up until very recently. Defensive statistics for the season remain excellent. Individually Jalen Suggs remains ranking in top 3 in all categories relating to steals.
  • Our scoring leader remains Franz Wagner with 20.7 ppg. Paolo Banchero is second with 19.5 ppg. Third on the team and leading the bench is Cole Anthony who with 15.2 points per game. At 13 points per game Moritz Wagner has moved up to the number 4 position in Magic scoring, after putting together a series of games that has seen his scoring contributions increased.
  • Paolo Banchero is also the team leader for assists (4.9) per game, this remains a collective category for the team. Jalen Suggs is the leader for steals per game at 1.9. Goga Bitadze leads in blocks with 1.4 per game (16th in the NBA). Moritz Wagner is second in the league in all categories of drawing charges, having taken 12 in the season so far.
  • As a postscript to the run that Orlando had been on it was announced that Coach Mosley had been named as the Eastern Conference’s Coach of the Month. The accolade is without doubt a deserved recognition of the work he and his team have done in this period.

Last Game – Brooklyn Nets 

  • For a second time this season Orlando went into the Barclays Center and failed to produce. The arena is not a happy hunting ground for the Magic and on this occasion saw a 101-129 loss.
  • The Magic were second best all across the court all night as Brooklyn did to Orlando what we have been doing to teams all season. Couple this with the Nets lethal three-point-shooting and the Magic had an unhappy night. Going in at the end of the first quarter 21 points down was not a great start.
  • The Magic did fight back and eventually reduce the deficit to single digits. Unfortunately the Nets found themselves able to stretch the lead back out and take the W.
  • Paolo Banchero for a second game flirted with a triple-double. He scored 19 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. He was fairly inconsistent from the field going 6-of-15, but from the free throw line he made 7-of-9. 
  • The starting unit was again Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Gary Harris, Moe Wagner, Joe Ingles and Caleb Houstan. Admiral Schofield and Chuma Okeke came on for the final 4-and-a-half minutes when the white flag was waved by the Magic.
  • Jonathan Isaac did not play having been day-to-day with an ankle issue

Tonight

  • The Magic injury report shows only Wendell Carter Jr. (left hand; fractured third metacarpal) and Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis) as out.
  • Jonathan Isaac remains day-to-day and questionable with an ankle issue. He is expected to be a game time decision again. 
  • Jett Howard is again on G-League assignment and unavailable. That also applies to two-way player Trevelin Queen.
  • Kevon Harris has yet to suit up for Orlando this season. He had been listed as a coach’s decision to not play. However when asked by Philip Rossman-Reich Coach Mosley stated he was still doing individual work to get his knee back in shape. Once it is fully rehabbed the team will look to get him playing time. 
  • Expect the Magic to run the usual rotations tonight. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers 

A Quick Look Back

  • Last season’s 51-31 record saw the Cavs have their best campaign since LeBron left, finishing 4th in the East. What followed was perhaps a surprising 1-4 first round exit to the New York Knicks.

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 11-9 Run: Won 7 in their last 10 played
  • Standing: Tied 7th in the East (7th-8th with Miami
  • Points Per GameFor 110.8 (25th) Against 111.2 (8th)
  • RatingOffensive 22nd Defensive 9th
  • Offensively the Cavs have not really hit their stride this season. Whilst their shots attempted has increased their makes are down. Their offensive stats are for the most part bottom half of the league. The Cavs do well scoring both on the fast break and in the paint.
  • Unsurprisingly Donovan Mitchell is the team leader in scoring with 27.1 points and steals at 2.1 per game.
  • Darius Garland is second in scoring with 19.3 points and leading on assists with 5.9 per game.
  • Evan Mobley is averaging a points and rebound double-double.

Last Time Out For The Cavs

  • Their last outing was a 110-101 road win in Detroit .
  • Max Strus and Darius Garland led the team jointly, both scoring 22.
  • Starting 5 – Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen 
  • Isaac Okoro and Georges Niang played big minutes from the bench in what was essentially a 7 man rotation.
  • Craig Porter Jr, Tristan Thompson and Sam Merril combined played less than 10 minutes.

Tonight

  • Their injury report sees Ricky Rubio and Ty Jerome listed as out. Caris LeVert and Dean Wade are both day-to-day.
  • Expect no change to their last outing starting 5, as when available this is their go to unit.

Head-To-Head With The Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • In 122 regular season games played and the score stands at 63-59 to the Cavs.
  • Last season was a 0-4 sweep to the Cavaliers, seeing them on a 4 game win streak.
  • Orlando have only won 1 of the last 7 regular season encounters. Prior to that the Magic had won 7 straight. 

A Final Thought As The Orlando Magic Aim To Bounce Back

  • Tonight is an opportunity for the Magic to get back to winning ways.
  • This fixture is one of the two games added to each team’s schedule after elimination from the In-Season Tournament. Neither will look at it as an easy option.
  • Orlando will need to get their defence back to their best to contain the threat of Mitchell, Garland, Okoro, Strus, Mobley and Allen. If he is available you can add LeVert to that list. In defending Mitchell the Magic can not afford to over react and leave others with easy opportunities. Defensive discipline and focus is required as the Orlando Magic aim to bounce back to winning ways.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!