Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers Game Preview

Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers Game Preview

Ryan Knuppel
3 years ago
2 min read

In a game that has to crown a winner, the Orlando Magic and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be meeting on Wednesday at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

Neither of these clubs is too eager to claim a win right now, each struggling and potentially thinking about the ping pong balls and a top pick, perhaps. But, the young talent will be on display at the guard positions, with Chuma Okeke and Isaac Okoro battling it out upfront.

The Magic have dealt with a rash of injuries all year, and at the deadline, opted to reset things. They will have Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz back next year as they enter the first phase of a full rebuild. Guys like Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton, and Wendell Carter Jr. will also play a big part in helping turn the team back into a winner. They will be fun to watch as a terrific defensive team in 2021-22.

The Cavs, meanwhile, will again be without roughly half their roster. Taurean Prince and Dylan Windler are done for the year. Larry Nance Jr. has a fractured thumb. Then you have Isaiah Hartenstein, Lamar Stevens, and Collin Sexton, all in concussion protocol. Add a neck strain for Matthew Dellavedova, and you’re quite a bit short-handed. The Cavs will be leaning heavily on Darius Garland to deliver them a strong performance again.


For the first time in a long time, the Cavs are favored. CLE -3 is the spread.

Magic Seeking Win No. 19

The Magic have not had a good year by any stretch. Markelle Fultz tore his ACL a few games into the year. Mo Bamba was still feeling affected by COVID-19 several months after his positive diagnosis. And a number of other players were constantly going in and out of the lineup. They never developed any continuity around Aaron Gordon or Vucevic.

They traded the three best players they had healthy to open the year to different teams to pick up some young players and picks. And by doing so opened up playing time for a number of their other players. This is a good team at the defensive end, even now, but scoring is hard.

Look for Okeke and Carter Jr. to try and carry the team to a win.

Cavs Seeking the "Nance" Win

At 21-40, the Cavs have been a little disappointing. They opened the year 3-0 and were sitting at 8-10 after 18 games. They have gone 13-30 since, not a good percentage at all. The team is looking for the magical Nance win, which would give them 22 in all. The last time LeBron left, they win 19, 21, 24, and 33 games in the four years.

So far this time, the totals have been 19, 19 (shortened season by 17 games), and now 21 with just 11 to play. Things are looking eerily similar, but LBJ is probably not walking through that door after the 21-22 campaign. That’s a major difference.

Look for Okoro to try and build off a 20-point performance and Garland to try and stay hot. Some big Jarrett Allen dunks would be a plus, too.

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