Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (5-15) vs. Orlando Magic (10-11)
When? 7 PM EST
Where? Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
The Magic are coming into Friday nights game hot after three straight wins over the Warriors, Wizards and Suns. They should feel confident tonight, given the team’s 2-0 record over the Cavs this season.
Cleveland has struggled against long teams all season. A trait that the Magic posses in spades even with Nikola Vucevic out with an injured ankle.
Making matters worse, both Kevin Love (illness) and Tristan Thompson (illness) will be game-time decisions. Though Thompson has been listed as probable to play.
If Love plays, the team will need a more inspired performance from him than they’ve received recently. He has failed to record a double double in four straight games and his effort level against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night was abysmal.
While some blame can be assigned to the Cavs guards for not getting him touches, his effort off ball and willingness to find passing lanes was not there. Floating around isn’t going to draw the attention of the ball handler, or motivate them to get you touches.
Unless the team had a growth spurt over the three days off, they are unlikely to win the size battle against Orlando. But what they can do is take better care of the basketball than they did in their last meeting.
The Cavs actually won the rebounding battle in that matchup, including a 12-6 edge on the offensive boards. However they wasted that by turning the ball over 25 times. Limiting that number and keeping Orlando out of transition will be essential to the Cavs chances of winning.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Cleveland’s issues with length continue with another sloppy performance. Magic win 112-104.