Orlando are tonight looking for some Magic in Cleveland on the second night of a back-to-back. On Magic Game Day 21 Orlando need a win to break a five game losing streak.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 1:00 am here in the UK (8pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
The Matchup As Orlando Are Looking For Some Magic In Cleveland
The Chicago Bulls trampled the Magic last night in the Amway Center. A 123-88 final score saw Chicago consign Orlando to a fifth consecutive defeat, as the Magic disappeared offensively in the second half. A competitive 27-27 first quarter gave way to a disastrous opening 3 minutes 30 seconds of the second quarter as Chicago went on a 18-0 run. The familiar story of Magic turnovers contributed hugely to that run and what followed was another half to forget.
Wendell Carter Jr went up against his former team and put in a double-double, with 26 points and 10 rebounds. He also added 2 assists and 2 blocks. Franz Wagner put up 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a block. Jalen Suggs scored 14 points.
Cleveland last played on Wednesday night, losing at home 120-115 to the Phoenix Suns. Jarrett Allen led the Cavs with 25 points. There were also double figure scores from Ricky Rubio (15), Lauri Markkanen (14), Darius Garland (19), Kevin Love (14) and Cedi Osman (23).
The Season So Far
Orlando’s record is now a losing 4-16 with the Magic sitting last in the Eastern Conference. They have now lost 5 games consecutively and won only 2 of the last 10 played. At home Orlando have won only one of nine games played. Road form makes slightly better reading at three wins of eleven played.
Orlando’s scoring average again dropped to 100.2 points per game, whilst conceding an average of 111.2 points per game. After last night the Magic statistics worsened for shooting, steals, turnovers etc along with their ratings for offensive play (27th) and defensive (29th). They clearly show our struggles on both ends of the court.
The Cavs have a losing 9-10 record, that sees them placed 11th in the Eastern Conference. Like Orlando Cleveland has lost five games straight, which coincides with the absence of rookie Evan Mobley. The Cavs were already without Colin Sexton for the year. Cleveland have won 4 of their last 10 games played with the same 4-6 losing record this season in front of their home crowd.
The Cavs have struggled on offence but have been solid in defence. They concede only 103.5 points per game, but score just 102.9. Cleveland are not a strong over all rebounding team but do well on the offensive boards. Cleveland do not foul a lot resulting in facing very few free throws. They also strongly defend opponent’s three point shooting.
Head-To-Head – The Cleveland Cavaliers
In 115 regular season games played the score stands at 58-57 in the Magic’s favour. Orlando are on a 7 game winning streak having swept the series over the last two seasons. The Magic have lost just one of the last ten games played.
These two teams have famously met once in the playoffs, in 2009, resulting in a 4-2 win for Orlando.
Our Opponents – The Cleveland Cavaliers
Head Coach JB Bickerstaff has been hit by key losses to his squad. The injury report on ESPN shows an improving picture. Only Colin Sexton is definitely out, having had season ending knee surgery. Both star rookie Evan Mobley and Lamar Stevens are expected to return tonight having recently been out. Dean Wade (left calf strain) is questionable.
If Mobley is fit he will likely start. Last game in his absence the Cavs starters were Darius Garland (PG), Isaac Okoro (SG), Lauri Markkanen (SF), Dean Wade (PF) and Jarrett Allen (C).
From the bench came Ricky Rubio, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love and Denzel Valentine.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
As you were for the Magic on this front. At the time of writing ESPN shows Orlando as having the following issues.
Cole Anthony is remains out with an ankle injury.
Terrence Ross is listed as day-to-day with back spasms and is probable to play tonight.
Mo Bamba has been added to the injury report with back spasms but is probable to play.
E’Twaun Moore remains out with a sprained left knee.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates from a left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season. He is said to be making great and steady progress, but is not yet cleared for contact.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery. He is taking part in more training activities, including contact work.
The Magic Lineup As Orlando Are Looking For Some Magic In Cleveland
Coach Mosely stayed with the same starting unit as against Charlotte last night. That unit was Jalen Suggs (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C). Injury could see this change.
Robin Lopez was available but did not feature.
Check Out Other Orlando Magic U.K. Content
On each game day make sure to check Twitter and Facebook to play along with our Magic Moments competition. Simply comment with your prediction for each of five questions we will ask on that night’s game. At the end of the season we will send out a prize to whoever tops the league with the most correct predictions.
Final Thoughts As Orlando Are Looking For Some Magic In Cleveland
The Cavs have a good squad both in the starting unit and backups. At centre Jarrett Allen is a beast. The expected return of Mobley is a huge boost as Cleveland look to break their own losing slump.
For Orlando their focus has to be on limiting the turnovers. Coach Mosely admits they are killing the team but as with so much this season knows it is a learning opportunity.
This is a game that can easily go either way and could come down to one or two possessions.
Let’s Go Magic!