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NBA Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers look to right the ship at home against Orlando Magic

Last week was an unmitigated disaster for the Cavs. Are the Magic the cure for whatever has been ailing them?

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, everyone expected the Cleveland Cavaliers to experience some growing pains. But not like this. They've lost four games in a row, the last two by a combined 30 points. They've already lost three games to teams that are currently below .500: the Knicks, Jazz, and Nuggets.

Which brings us to the Orlando Magic. They are improved from last season, but they're still the kind of team that the Cavs should be able to take care of at home. However, the gap between the teams the Cavs should have beaten and the teams the Cavs have actually beaten is vast.

Who: Magic (6-9) at Cavs (5-7)

When: 7 pm Eastern

Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Television: Fox Sports Ohio


It's pretty close to panic time in Cleveland, and a loss to the Magic would certainly add some fuel to the fire.

Orlando has won four of their last seven games (against the Knicks, Bucks, Pistons, and Hornets), and they're clearly not a pushover. Fourth-year big Nikola Vucevic is averaging 19.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. It's a good thing the Cavs have a few pretty good interior defenders to match up... oh crap.

In addition to Vucevic, Evan Fournier has been pretty good. He's averaging 17.1 points per game on 46.8 percent three-point shooting.

Unfortunately for the Magic, they've been hit by some injuries here in the early part of the season. Rookie Aaron Gordon has been out with a broken foot, and Tobias Harris is currently day-to-day with a calf injury.

Orlando is 23rd in the NBA in offensive efficiency, but they're a halfway decent defensive team, as they currently rank 16th in the league in defensive efficiency.

The Cavs, who were among the best teams in the league offensively not that long ago, are now 17th in offensive efficiency. Hopefully they can start to figure things out a little bit tonight. If not, I don't even want to imagine what Twitter/ESPN/sports radio will be like tomorrow.

(Just kidding, most of the talk tomorrow will be about Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, no matter what happens with the Cavs tonight.)