Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (1-8) vs. Orlando Magic (3-6)
When? 7:00 p.m.
Where? Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Cavs injuries: Kevin Love (OUT-foot)
Magic injuries: Jonathan Isaac (QUESTIONABLE - ankle), Timofey Mozgov (OUT - knee), Jonathan Simmons (QUESTIONABLE- wrist)
Another game, another opportunity for the team to show some signs of life in this early season. The Cavaliers are once again in the headlines as a result of the turmoil behind the scenes.
While the team has shown flashes of coherent play, the team has struggled to put together a consistent effort in any game. There still isn’t even signs of a consistent rotation or any sign of what this team is trying to be in-game. Facing the Magic, hopefully we will get some steps in the right direction.
Keys to the game
Consistent effort. Losing is not the end of the world. The Cavs are likely going to do a lot more losing this season and it ultimately will be to the benefit of the franchise. But what needs to stop happening is the quarters where the Cavs get blown out by 20+ points. This may not be a good team, but it isn’t as bad as it is during those terrible stretches that have come to define this season.
Improved shot profile. This will sound like a broken record, but the Cavs need to start taking more three-pointers and shots at the rim. The team has become reliant on the midrange jumper and haven’t been converting it at a high rate either. They might not have the floor spacing they used to have, but that doesn’t mean this team is devoid of shooters or couldn’t benefit from more attempts from deep.
Defense, defense, defense. The Magic are the worst offense in the NBA and a prime opportunity for the Cavs to show a pulse on the defensive end. Outside of Tristan Thompson, there just has been so few players that have made a positive impact on that side of the floor. The Magic like to play big and don’t have a lot of stellar play-makers from the perimeter. This should be the type of opponent the Cavs could keep in front of them and limit the amount of penetration from the perimeter. But as we’ve seen this season, what should happen isn’t always guaranteed to happen.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
While the Magic aren’t a good offensive team, their large lineups could give the Cavs some trouble on the offensive glass. Extra possessions will keep the Magic in the game, but I think the Cavs get back into the win column with a 110-105 performance.