Tonight is a big one for Orlando against Cleveland. To stay in the playoff race the Magic must beat the Cavs, whilst the Bulls lose to Atlanta. Any other combination of results see Orlando eliminated from the hunt for involvement in the NBA postseason.
- The tip off time from the Amway Center is midnight for us U.K. fans (7pm in Orlando).
- To watch here in the U.K. you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The Orlando Magic
- Orlando have a 34-44 record, now being 12th in the Eastern Conference.
- Coming into the game the Magic have won 6 of the last 10 played.
- Orlando has a home record of 20 wins and 19 losses this campaign.
- On the season Orlando score 112 points per game (26th of 30) and concede 113.9 points per game (17th of 30).
- A comfortable home court win for the Orlando Magic came on Sunday over the Detroit Pistons by 102-128. It was a tale of balanced scoring and strong defensive play for the Magic as a franchise-matching-high of 8 Orlando players reached double-digit-scoring. Jalen Suggs lead a with 18 points, whilst Cole Anthony scored 17. Franz Wagner had 16 points as he dished out 8 of the Magic’s 30 assists. The game also saw the first action since his return to the club for Michael Carter-Williams and a debut for guard Jay Scrubb.
The Cleveland Cavaliers
- Sitting 4th in the Eastern Conference the Cleveland Cavaliers have a 49-30 record.
- Cleveland can reach the third seed spot (Philadelphia 76ers at 51-27) or drop to 5th (New York Knicks at 46-33).
- The Cavs have won 7 of their last 10 played, with a road record of 18-21.
- Last time out Cleveland 105-115 home court win over the Indiana Pacers. The Cavs saw Donovan Mitchell erupt for 40 points. Double-digit scores were also recorded by Darius Garland (20), Jarrett Allen (15) and Caris LeVert (15). A 14 points; 16 rebounds double-double was produced by Evan Mobley.
The Play-In Picture
- Only Orlando and Chicago remain in contention for the final play-in berth. The Wizards are already eliminated from the postseason by virtue of their record against Chicago.
- The Chicago Bulls have a 38-40 record, being sat in 10th.
- Both Orlando and Chicago have four games remaining. For the Magic to snatch the 10th seed from the Bulls there is only one combination of results that can happen. Orlando must win all four, whilst Chicago lose all four.
- The Magic face the Cleveland Cavaliers twice at home, before travelling to Brooklyn and then Miami.
- Chicago face a home fixture against Atlanta, then travel to Milwaukee and Dallas, finishing the season at home to Detroit.
Squad And Injury News Ahead Of A Big One For Orlando Against Cleveland
- Kevon Harris is no longer listed on the Orlando Magic injury report, having been out with an elbow bruise.
- Admiral Schofield is day-to-day after turning his ankle late in the game against Detroit.
- Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) remains out for the season for the Magic.
- For Cleveland both Isaac Okoro (knee) and Dylan Windler (foot) are day-to-day and questionable having missed the Pacers game.
The Big Picture
- This is the first of two meetings in three days between the teams, the next being Thursday.
- The regular season head-to-head of 120 games played sees the score standing at 61-59 in Cleveland’s favour. The Cavs took both earlier meetings in the season by a 11 point margin. Last season was a 2-1 win for Cleveland, with the Magic winning the final meeting. Going into the 2021-22 season Orlando were on a 7 game winning streak, having swept the series over the previous two seasons.
- The Cavaliers rate at the NBA’s leading team for fewest points conceded per game and boast the best defensive record.
- Cleveland do not shoot quantity but are very efficient in their shooting. They also look after the ball on their possessions.
- Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen both rank top 20 in categories relating to rebounding and blocks.
- The backcourt is an impressive duo. Darius Garland is 7th in the NBA for assists with 528 on the season (7.8 per game). Donovan Mitchell is averaging 28 points per game following his trade this summer.
- Paolo Banchero continues to lead the Magic scorers with 20 points per game. He is followed by Franz Wagner (18.8), Wendell Carter Jr (15.5), Markelle Fultz (14) and Cole Anthony (13).
Two To Watch Ahead Of A Big One For Orlando Against Cleveland
- The battle of the front court could be a fascinating one. Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr facing strong competition from Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
- Evan Mobley for Cleveland is making some kind of case for consideration as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The 21-year-old’s play has drawn comparisons to Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Whilst his season figures are impressive his current form is even more so. Over his last 5 games Mobley has averaged a double-double of 18.6 points and 12.2 rebounds. In that time he has also notched 4.6 assists and 3.6 blocks per game. Mobley is a player to be respected inside the arc on both ends of the court.
- Wendell Carter Jr is quietly producing consistently good performances for Orlando. This is getting him the recognition of colleagues, along with that of opposing coaches and players. Against Detroit he shot 4-8 from distance, also making 3 steals. His performances over the past 4 weeks have seen averages per game of 17.18 points and 8.64 rebounds.