GameDay Preview: Cavaliers vs. Magic
The Cleveland Cavaliers (15-34) continue their seven-game homestand tonight against the Orlando Magic (14-34) for the second of four regular season matchups. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.
In their last matchup in November, the Cavs forced Orlando into 18 turnovers and converted 16 of those miscues into 21 points in the first half. It was only the third time since 2002-03 that Cleveland forced at least 16 turnovers in a half.
The Wine and Gold have won five of their last seven contests and hold a 5-1 mark in their last six games against Eastern Conference opponents.
Orlando on-the-other-hand, comes into the tonight's contest having lost 11 straight games and are expected to be without the services of Glen Davis, J.J. Redick and Arron Afflalo. That trio combined for 53 points in the November win over the Cavs.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller
Magic: PG - Jameer Nelson, SG - E’Twaun Moore, SF - Maurice Harkless
PF - Andrew Nicholson, C - Nikola Vucevic
Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Magic) - Al Harrington (Right Knee Rehabilitation, Out), Glen Davis (Fractured Right Foot, Out), J.J. Redick (Sore Right Shoulder, Day-to-Day), Arron Afflalo (Strained Calf, Day-to-Day)
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Magic, 48-37, posting a 23-18 mark in games played at home with the Magic holding a 29-14 advantage while playing in their own arena.
In the first meeting on Nov. 23 at the Amway Center, Dion Waiters nailed four triples and finished with a game-high 25 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37 minutes.
Key to the Game/Key Matchups
Key to the Game
A big reason for the Cavaliers recent success has been their ability to force turnovers while limiting their miscues at the offensive end.
As mentioned above, the Wine and Gold forced the Magic into several turnovers in their last matchup. Cleveland ranks 5th in the NBA in opponent turnovers per game at 15.6.
If the Cavs can play swarming defense, they will give themselves a good chance at coming away with a victory as the Magic are 0-16 this season when failing to score 90 points or more.
Offensively, the Cavs set a season low with six turnovers against the Bobcats on Wednesday, which was their lowest turnover total since 2011. Over their last 10 games, the Cavs are averaging 11.8 turnovers and rank 8th in the NBA at taking care of the ball this season (14.5). The Cavaliers have also tied or had fewer turnovers than their opponents in 19 of their last 23 contests.
Cavs bench vs. Magic Bench
Due to the Magic's injuries, their second unit has had to step up in the starting lineup and should receive increased minutes tonight.
The Cavaliers bench has made major contributions as of late. Cleveland’s reserves are averaging 48.7 points over the last three games and have had at least two players score in double figures off the bench in six straight games.
In the Cavaliers win on Wednesday, Marreese Speights recorded his second straight double-double with 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench, while Wayne Ellington added 16 points on 7-12 (.583) shooting, five rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes as a reserve.
Where to Catch the Action