GameDay Preview: Cavs at Magic

Anderson Varejao
Fernando Medina/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold will play back-to-back games in Florida this weekend, beginning tonight with the Orlando Magic at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (8-13) is coming off a 109-94 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday at The Q where they shot a season-high .568 (42-74) from the field. That was their highest shooting percentage since December 28, 2011 when they hit .571 of their shots at Detroit.

In Tuesday’s win, Kyrie Irving became the first Cavs player since World B. Free on March 29, 1986 (43 points, 11 assists, 0 turnovers) to tally at least 37 points and 11 assists, while having one or fewer turnovers in a single game.

Orlando (7-15) enters tonight's contest having defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 92-83, in their most recent game on Wednesday.

In the road victory, Glen Davis tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Jameer Nelson recorded 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Andrew Bynum

Magic: PG - Jameer Nelson, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Arron Afflalo
PF - Glen Davis, C - Tobias Harris, (Sprained Left High Ankle, Day-to-Day)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

During the 2012-13 regular season, Cleveland went 3-1 against Orlando and outscored them by an average of 9.2 points per game (108.0 to 98.8). The Cavs averaged 23.5 assists against the Magic, while turning the ball over just 11.0 times per contest.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 40-48 against Orlando (25-18 Home, 15-30 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defensive Intensity

There has been a disparity in the Wine and Gold's defensive numbers while playing at home and on the road.

Cleveland has held four of their last five opponents under 95 points and has a 4-1 record over that stretch.

Furthermore, the Cavs are holding opponents to an average of 93.0 points on .433 (190-439) from the field, including .291 (37-127) from the three-point line over the last five contests.

If the Wine and Gold can match the same defensive intensity on the road as they have at The Q, then they give themselves a good chance at coming away with their second road victory of the season.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

Orlando's center, Nikola Vucevic, has always played well against the Cavaliers in the past. On the season, Vucevic is averaging 14.6 points to go along with 11.1 rebounds.

Joining Vucevic in the starting frontcourt will be Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Davis can be a force on the offensive glass and has the ability to knock down the 18-ft jump shot.

Battling Davis and Vucevic down low will be the Cavaliers big man trio of Andrew Bynum, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

Over the last five contests, Bynum is averaging 15.0 points on .516 (32-62) shooting from the field, 8.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game.

Thompson had a near double-double against the Knicks after finishing with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds in 30 minutes. Over the last five games, he is averaging 14.4 points on .500 (26-52) shooting and 13.6 rebounds in 35.2 minutes per game.

Varejao (351) is only three blocks away from passing Jim Brewer (353) for 8th place in franchise history. Varejao had an all-around game against New York on Tuesday with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes off the bench.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 218

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs will head straight down 1-95 to square off against the Miami Heat on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.