When? 7:00 pm
Where can I watch? Fox Sports Ohio
Music to get me excited? Well, our dear leader Conrad is on his way to Clemson for some reason, and I was a little inspired by this:
But we have a kick ass NSYNC playlist happening right now, so we're good.— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKazNBA) October 11, 2013
But frankly, I don't know if I will get the chance to do another preview this year for a Magic game, so I have to get in one of my favorite songs for this matchup. So here it is.
What to watch for from the Magic: A lot of really fun and young basketball players. Orlando added Victor Oladipo with the 2nd pick in the draft after the Cavaliers stunned everyone by selecting Anthony Bennett. Fun fact: Despite playing three seasons at Indiana, Oladipo is only about ten months older than Bennett, who played one season at UNLV. Oladipo was a favorite of many during the run-up to the draft. A versatile defender that knows how to pick his spots offensively, Oladipo was considered to be one of the safer picks in a draft marked by uncertainty at the top. Curiously, the Magic, who are in no hurry to make a playoff push, are planning on trying out Oladipo at the point guard spot, instead of his natural shooting guard position. Does this make sense? I don't particularly think so. His ball handling isn't particularly great and he wasn't known as a creator at Indiana. But do the Magic have much to lose? Probably not.
Aside from that, forward Tobias Harris is considered by many to be a great breakout candidate this season, which will be his third in the league. After struggling to get minutes last season in Milwaukee, he was shipped to Orlando in the J.J. Redick trade. He promptly became a fixture for Orlando, averaging 36 minutes and compiling a Player Efficiency Rating of 17 over 27 games. Not bad. He is a bit of a tweener at 6'8 and 228 lbs. and might be a nice player comparison for the aforementioned Anthony Bennett. Crazy thing about Harris: Even though he is entering his third NBA season, he only recently turned 21. He will be an interesting player to watch not only tonight, but moving forward as well.
Orlando also has Maurice Harkless, a personal favorite of mine, and Nikola Vucevich. Both players have showed flashes of potential as future NBA starters, but might end up being solid bench pieces. Orlando is accumulating some nice young talent. The question will be if any turn into actual NBA stars, and while Oladipo is probably their best shot, I don't know if he can develop the shooting or ball handling to consistently create for himself. Then again, Orlando will probably have another shot near the top of the lottery come next June to try and hit that home run.
What to watch from the Cavaliers: Will Anthony Bennett play better? Can Tristan Thompson keep up that level of play? Will Anderson Varejao stay healthy? Was the preseason opener against the Bucks, which was phenomenal, a mirage? There are endless story lines for the Cavaliers and you are all aware of them by now. Plenty of reason to watch, and kudos to Dan Gilbert and Fox Sports Ohio for putting it together.
Prediction: It is the preseason, does anyone actually care?