Tonight, as the Magic close out home-court by facing Cleveland it is hard not to feel disappointed that Orlando’s season is almost over. Having started 5-20, Orlando rallied to be the last team eliminated from the postseason in the Eastern Conference.
Dropping to defeat on Tuesday night to Cleveland saw Orlando eliminated from contention for the postseason. Truth be told the loss was even more disappointing when seeing Chicago stumbled at home to Atlanta, then lost on the road to Milwaukee. However, our congratulations go to the Chicago Bulls on securing the 10th seed.
Since that start the Magic went 29-25, playing hard and learning how to win. A win tonight would see Orlando secure a winning home record.
- 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 34-45 record, seeing them 11th 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 20 losses this campaign.
- On the season Orlando score 112 points per game (26th of 30) and concede 114 points per game (16th of 30).
The Cleveland Cavaliers
- Sitting 4th in the Eastern Conference the Cleveland Cavaliers have a 50-30 record.
- Cleveland will face the New York Knicks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
- The Cavs have won 7 of their last 10 played, with a road record of 19-21.
Both Teams Last Time Out
A hard fought home court loss for the Orlando Magic came on Tuesday to the Cleveland Cavaliers by 117-113. That result saw Orlando eliminated from the postseason and Cleveland secure the 4th seed. Markelle Fultz recorded 23 points and 8 assists, Wendell Carter Jr took another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Paolo Banchero scored 20, whilst Jalen Suggs threw himself into every defensive possession as if his life depended upon it. Double-digit scoring also came from Cole Anthony (15), Franz Wagner (17) and Goga Bitadze (10). The Cavs were driven by the brilliance of Donovan Mitchell, recording his 4th consecutive 40-point-plus performance, finishing with 43 points. Darius Garland hit a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists. Double-digit scores also came from Evan Mobley (14), Jarrett Allen (12) and from the bench Caris LeVert produced an invaluable 19 points (including 5-6 from three-point-range).
Squad And Injury News
- Truth be told with Cleveland being secure in the 4th seed and Orlando playing the season out it is no surprise to see many starters sat out or playing on vastly reduced minutes.
- Being Fan Appreciation Night in the Amway Center it would be no surprise to see Coach Mosley feature most (if not all) of the roster at some point as the Magic close out home-court by facing Cleveland.
- Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) remains out for the season for the Magic. He is the only player listed by Orlando on their injury report.
- For Cleveland both Isaac Okoro (knee) and Dylan Windler (foot) are out again having missed previous games. They are joined by 4 of the Cavs starting 5 and the team’s sixth man. All out are Jarrett Allen (groin), Darius Garland (lower leg contusion), Caris LeVert (knee soreness), Donovan Mitchell (finger sprain) and Evan Mobley (rest).
An Overview As The Magic Close Out Home-Court By Facing Cleveland
- This is the final home game of the season for Orlando. On Fan Appreciation Night in the Amway Center it would be a great way to close out home-court by securing a home winning record.
- With a record of 34-45 the Magic have secured a 12 win increase on the previous year. That is the biggest increase in the Eastern Conference.
- The Cavaliers rate as 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.
- As we saw last game Cleveland have an impressive starting unit, however tonight they are all “injured’. Missing will be Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, whom both rank top 20 in categories relating to rebounding and blocks. Also absent is Darius Garland who remains 6th in the NBA for assists with 538 on the season (7.8 per game) and star guard Donovan Mitchell (28.3 points per game).
- 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 (14.2) and Cole Anthony (13).
Two To Watch As The Magic Close Out Home-Court By Facing Cleveland
- The acquisition of Goga Bitadze from waivers in February saw the Magic take a chance on the big Georgian centre. In the 14 games played with Orlando; Goga is putting up career high statistics in field goal percentage, two-point field goal percentage, all rebound categories and assists. Somewhat unexpectedly there is a partnership with Mo Wagner blossoming as the two big guys combine. Bitadze has averaged 5.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in his last 10 games.
- For Cleveland Lamar Stevens is someone from the bench who can help the team during the playoffs. Coach JB Bickerstaff has said he needs to give Stevens playing time so expect that to be part of the Cleveland plan for tonight. In his last 10 games he has averaged 16 minutes, tallying 4.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.3 assists. He can be a competent three-point-shooter.
So for the final time in the Amway Center this season…. LET’S GO MAGIC!