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The Orlando Magic Defend The Kingdom Against Cleveland

  • Tonight the Orlando Magic defend the kingdom against Cleveland, looking to add another win to the season total in the Amway Center.

Regular Season Game 23 – Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic 

  • Venue – Amway Center, Orlando, Florida 
  • U.K. tip time is midnight, which is 7pm for our friends in Orlando.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 15-7
  • Run: won 1, record of 8-2 in the last 10 games played.
  • Home Record 10-2 (10-1 in the Amway Center; the Atlanta “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 5-5
  • Standing: 2nd in the East (record tied with Milwaukee in 3rd, the Magic hold the tie-breaker)
  • Points Per GameFor 114.5 (13th) Against 109.6 (6th)
  • RatingOffensive 17th Defensive 2nd
  • The Magic got back to their defensive best against Detroit. Holding the Pistons to just 89 points saw the stats all take a step forward, having had 5 previous games of a less solid nature. The opposition assists rank at the least in the league, as are opponent field goals attempted. 
  • The majority of the offensive statistics remain in the mid league range. There are some obvious exceptions, particularly in free throw attempts and free throws made. The Magic have the 8th best field goal percentage in the NBA, largely off of the play attacking the paint, taking second chance opportunities and scoring from opponent turnovers.
  • Scoring is jointly led by Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner at 20.7 points per game. Third on the team and leading the bench is Cole Anthony who stays strong with 15.4 points per game. 
  • Paolo Banchero is also the team leader for assists (4.5) per game. Jalen Suggs is the leader for steals per game at 1.9. Goga Bitadze leads in blocks with 1.6 per game (16th in the NBA). Moritz Wagner is top three in the league in all categories of drawing charges.

Last Time Out – Detroit Pistons 

  • Orlando got back to their best with an 91-123 win over the Pistons. Detroit sank to their 19th consecutive loss and offered a perfect opportunity for the Magic to bounce back from 2 successive losses. 
  • Unlike in recent games the Magic got off to a better first quarter, leading by 5 after those opening 12 minutes. From that point on Orlando pushed on, winning all four quarters.
  • Franz Wagner poured in 27 points after a slightly slow start, with Paolo Banchero following up with 24. Both played a shade under 31 minutes. Cole Anthony had 16 points and 6 assists, Gary Harris 11 points and Joe Ingles threw in 5 assists. Goga Bitadze rounded out the double digit scoring for the Magic with an impressive stat line of 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks.
  • As a team the Magic produced 45 rebounds, 26 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks. Limiting turnovers to 9 was a great help to the team’s success also.
  • The starting unit was Anthony Black, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Moe Wagner, Joe Ingles, Caleb Houstan and Chuma Okeke all played significant minutes, being joined by Admiral Schofield and Jett Howard.

Tonight

  • The Magic injury report is slowly beginning to improve. Yes, both Wendell Carter Jr. (left hand; fractured third metacarpal) and Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis) remain out. However both are practicing and shooting to varying degrees.
  • Jalen Suggs is listed as listed as day-to-day, being a game time decision tonight after the ankle sprain against Cleveland last week.
  • Jonathan Isaac is confirmed as available tonight having recovered from his own ankle issue that has seen him sidelined in 5 of the last 6 games.
  • Two-way player Trevelin Queen is again not part of the squad.
  • Kevon Harris has yet to suit up for Orlando this season and is again listed as a coach’s decision to not play.
  • If Jalen Suggs is good to go he could slip back into the starting unit in place of Gary Harris. Anthony Black, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Goga Bitadze will make up the rest of that opening tip lineup.
  • The availability of Jonathan Isaac and potentially Jalen Suggs will help the Orlando Magic defend the kingdom against Cleveland.

The Cleveland Cavaliers 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 13-9 Run: Won 7 in their last 10 played
  • Standing: 6th in the East 
  • 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, hampered by injuries and also the process of integrating two key newcomers into their rotation. As we saw last week this team can be lethal shooting the three ball. It is true that their statistics are far from a true reflection of their ability and team depth.
  • The Cavs do well scoring in many of the same categories as the Magic such as on the fast break, from opponent turnovers and in the paint. 
  • Donovan Mitchell is the team leader in scoring with an improving 27.6 points per game. He also contributes heavily on steals and assists.
  • Darius Garland is second in scoring with 19.6 points and leading on assists with 6.1 per game.
  • Evan Mobley is averaging a points and rebound double-double.

Last Time Out For The Cavs

  • Their last outing was a 111-99 road win in Miami, over the Heat.
  • Donovan Mitchell led the team with a points and rebounds double-double. He scored 27 points, had 13 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal.
  • Starting 5 – Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Dean Wade, Jarrett Allen 
  • Isaac Okoro, Georges Niang, Craig Porter Jr, Tristan Thompson, Sam Merrill and Damian Jones played from the bench.

Tonight

  • Their injury report sees Evan Mobley, Caris LeVert, Ricky Rubio and Ty Jerome are all listed as out.
  • The loss of Mobley and LeVert is a big hit on their scoring, each respectively averaging 16 and 14.9 points per game.
  • Therefore expect there to be no change to their last starting 5 in Miami. 

Head-To-Head With The Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • In 123 regular season games played and the score stands at 64-59 to the Cavs.
  • The only game played between the two this season saw Orlando fall to a 111-121 loss after an opening quarter that saw the Cavs score 37 points. That quarter of below acceptable play gave the Magic a 17 point deficit, that was extended early in the second quarter to 23. On the back of an improved defensive display 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. Paolo Banchero posted a career-best of 42 points.
  • Last season was a 0-4 sweep to the Cavaliers, seeing them now on a 5 game win streak over the Magic.
  • Orlando have only won 1 of the last 8 regular season encounters. Prior to that the Magic had won 7 straight. 

A Final Thought As The Orlando Magic Defend The Kingdom

  • The last game was virtually decided by the difference in three point shooting, which saw Cleveland out scoring Orlando by 36 points. The Magic were horrible from range, going 2-of-23 on the night. Cleveland hit 7 of their first 9 from beyond the arc, ultimately making 14-of-34.
  • Orlando’s home record is very strong but so far this season the Cavs have been better on the road than at home. They have won 7-of-10 on the road so far.
  • Orlando will need to have their defence back at its best again to contain the threat of Mitchell, Garland, Okoro, Strus and Allen. We said this in the last preview of the Cavs that in defending Mitchell the Magic can not afford to over react and leave others with easy opportunities.

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GO MAGIC!