Cavaliers (42-25) @ Magic (21-46)
Coming off the game of the year for the Cavaliers and maybe the NBA as a whole, the Wine & Gold look to stay focused as they enter the Sunshine State and take on the struggling Orlando Magic and playoff contending Miami Heat. These will both be the last contest between the Cavaliers with the Magic.
Kyrie Irving, we can all agree, had the best regular season game in Cleveland Cavaliers history. Totaling 57 points, barely beating out his previous career high of 55, Irving looks to take control on this Florida road trip and finish out 4-0 overall on the current road trip.
Many experts didn’t believe the Cavaliers would be able to take the first two victories against tough Western Conference opponents. Now facing the latter part of their road trip, the Magic look to play spoiler for the Cavaliers. In their last game against the Magic, LeBron and company were barely able to squeak out a victory, winning 98-89 with a monster 4th quarter from LeBron. Although the last game was close, look for the Cavaliers to use their newer pieces to blow this game wide open early. The Cavaliers were without Mozgov, Smith, Shumpert and Irving last time they played the Magic on December 26.
Here are some things you need to know before watching:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic – Amway Center
Game start: 6:00 P.M. Cavs TV- FSO. Magic TV- FS Florida. National TV- NBATV.
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Kyrie Irving: 22.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.2 RPG, 46.9 % FG
SG: J.R. Smith: 12.4 PPG, 2.6 APG, 3.7 RPG, 41.3 % FG
SF: LeBron James: 26.1 PPG, 7.3 APG, 5.8 RPG, 49.1 % FG
PF: Kevin Love: 16.8 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.1 RPG, 43.0 % FG
C: Timofey Mozgov: 10.6 PPG, 0.7 APG, 7.4 RPG, 59.2 % FG
PG: Elfrid Payton: 8.3 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.9 RPG, 41.7 % FG
SG: Victor Oladipo: 17.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, 4.2 RPG, 44.6 % FG
SF: Tobias Harris: 17.0 PPG, 2.0 APG, 6.3 RPG, 46.2 % FG
PF: Dewayne Dedmon: 3.6 PPG, 0.1 APG, 4.6 RPG, 56.5 % FG
C: Nikola Vucevic: 19.5 PPG, 1.8 APG, 11.2 RPG, 53.0 % FG
Matchup to Watch For:
Quite possibly the quietest double double in the NBA, Orlando Magic’s Nikola Vucevic looks to come at Cleveland Cavaliers’ Timofey Mozgov strong and often. Vucevic has been steady as the anchor for the Magic as they rebuild back the Eastern Conference powerhouse they once were. Proving to be the best center since Dwight Howard, Vucevic has been able to do just about everything for the Magic this year, and draws comparisons to Kevin Love in terms of offensive firepower and the natural ability to rebound the ball in bunches. Mozgov, on the other hand, has been explosive in terms of rim protecting. A team that in previous contests would be devoured by players like Vucevic, the Cavaliers have come a long way in terms of stopping explosive bigs. Starting with Drummond and Valaciunas, Mozgov looks to prevent the game changing qualities of Nikola Vucevic. Look for Vucevic to have a better second half, considering Mozgov has not played the 4th quarter of recent games.
- Anderson Varejao: Season.
- Shawn Marion: Out Indefinitely.
- Willie Green: Day to Day.
- Devyn Marble: Out Indefinitely.
- Evan Fournier: Day to Day.
- Cleveland 7-3 in last 10.
- Orlando 3-7 in last 10.
- Orlando one of worst home teams at 11-21
- Marion looking to return soon.
- Willie Green look to suit up Sunday.