As you may or may not know, it's Kyrie Irving's 20th birthday. Apparently, the rookie told the team that he wanted to celebrate his birthday at Disneyworld. Therefore, the Cavaliers will travel to Orlando to have a party and such. Oh, and they'll also play a game against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.
(Please note that I do not know if Kyrie actually wanted to go to Disneyworld for his birthday, although I'm going to pretend that he did.)
(For comparison's sake, Jason Kidd turns 39 today. When he made his NBA debut, Kyrie was 2 years old.)
Song Of The Day: I Wish - Stevie Wonder
Cleveland Cavaliers (17-27) at Orlando Magic (30-18)
It's been difficult for Tristan Thompson to get comfortable playing center in the NBA thus far. He's had one awesome game and two "meh" games. Tonight, however, it gets much easier. Tigger gets the pleasure of defending and trying to score on Dwight Howard. This could get ugly. Dwight is a physical beast. He's like, really good. I'm scared.
The Cavaliers have some experience against the Magic (2009 ECF sad face), but this is a totally different Cavs team. The game plan of the Magic is pretty much the same, however. They go down low to Dwight and let him destroy you. Then, they kick it out to wide open three point shooters and they kill you from behind the arc. Ryan Anderson, JJ Redick, Hedo Turkoglu are all guys that can drain threes and that the Cavs absolutely have to defend if they want to win tonight.
Jameer Nelson had a horrible first half of the season. He has played better lately and he's pretty much the key to the Magic's success. I say that because Dwight is so consistent that he's never really a question (unless it's about him leaving). You know what you're getting from Dwight. When Jameer is on, the Magic are a much much better team. If they get really solid play from Nelson for a 7-game series, they can compete with anybody in the NBA.
I talked about this last time these two teams played, but Kyrie will have some problems with Dwight again tonight. Very few teams have such a big paint presence and the mere fact that Dwight is standing there causes guys to adjust their shots. Kyrie probably won't be able to score at the rim as easily as he is used to.
Ryan Anderson vs. Antawn Jamison
Ryan Anderson is basically what we wish Antawn Jamison could be now. Anderson plays a pretty specific role, but he does it very very well. He drains threes, grabs the rebounds that Dwight doesn't get and spreads the floor. That's a matchup that could very well dictate the outcome of this game. Tawn had several poor games in a row until the most recent performance against the Hawks (23 points on 9-17 shooting, 12 rebounds). It'd be nice if he could do that again tonight.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
The losses (and pingpong balls) continue to pile up. Dwight will prove way too much for Tristan to handle and he will basically have his way with the Cavaliers' front court. Cavs lose by a score of 98-85. I'm going on the record here that the Cavs will finish the season with a record of 25-41. That means they go 8-14 for the rest of the season. Book it.