GameDay Preview: Cavs at Magic

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Tristan Thompson

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold travel to the Sunshine State Friday night to square off against the Orlando Magic in preseason action at the Amway Center. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.

The Cavs opened their preseason schedule with a 99-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena, which marked their fifth straight win in a preseason opener (since 2009).

Tristan Thompson led the Cavs with a game-high 17 points on 7-10 (.700) shooting from the field, eight rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes against Milwaukee.

Orlando was edged out by the New Orleans Pelicans, 99-95, in the Magic's preseason opener. Nikola Vučević and Tobias Harris both recorded 17 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, while Andrew Nicholson scored 13 points.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Earl Clark
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Bucks: PG - Jameer Nelson, SG - Arron Afflalo, SF - Maurice Harkless
PF - Kyle O'Quinn, C - Nikola Vučević

Injuries: (Cavs) - Tyler Zeller, (Left Hip Flexor Strain, Out), Andrew Bynum, (Right Knee Surgery, Out), Alonzo Gee, (Right Hamstring Soreness, Out)
(Magic) Glen Davis, (Left Foot Rehabilitation, Out), Doron Lamb, (Sprained Right Ankle, Doubtful)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers are 3-3 all-time in preseason action against the Magic. Cleveland is 40-48 all-time vs. Orlando (25-18 at home, 15-30 on the road) during the regular season.

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 also averaged 23.5 assists against the Magic, while turning the ball over just 11.0 times per contest.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defensive Intensity

The Wine and Gold's defense was the key in Tuesday night's victory, holding Milwaukee to a mere 37 percent shooting from the field.

Orlando struggled shooting the basketball in their first preseason game, converting on just 39 percent of their shot attempts.

When the Magic scored 90 points or more last season, they had a record of 20-34, but when they failed to reach the 90-point mark, they were 0-28.

If the Cavaliers can have another solid night defensively and force the Magic into some tough shots, they increase their chances of coming away with their second preseason victory.

Key Matchup

Cavs Frontcourt vs. Magic Frontcourt

As mentioned, Tristan Thompson had a solid all-around game for the Wine and Gold on Tuesday and the Cavaliers frontcourt as a whole controlled the paint. Anderson Varejao and the 2013 No. 1 overall draft pick, Anthony Bennett, each pulled down 10 rebounds in the victory.

Collectively, Cleveland had a 50-38 edge on the glass that night, including 19 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second chance points.

Nikola Vučević is Orlando's best low post player and the Wine and Gold must keep a body on him at all times. Vučević averaged a double-double at 13.0 ppg. and 11.9 rpg. Furthermore, Vučević was one of only eight NBA players to average a double-double...He led the Magic in rebounding and blocked shots, and tallied a team-high 46 double-doubles (third in the NBA), including four 20-point/20-rebound efforts.

Orlando also brings a tough one-two frontcourt punch off the bench with forwards Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson. In their preseason opener, Harris scored a team-high 17 points while grabbing nine rebounds while Nicholson chipped in 13 points.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: Fox Sports Ohio HD, NBATV, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA Leauge Pass Audio

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

Use the official mobile app of the Cleveland Cavaliers to enhance your experience with the team 24/7. Feel like you’re at the game with real time updates during the action and easy access to team news, social media, and forums.

On Deck

After Friday’s matchup with Orlando, the Cavaliers will play five straight games in Ohio, including three offsite preseason games. Cleveland will first play their first offsite contest against the Charlotte Bobcats in Canton, OH on Tuesday (Oct. 15). After a pair of contests at The Q (Detroit on Oct. 17 and Indiana on Oct. 19), the Cavs head to the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH to face Philadelphia (Oct. 21) and Washington at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH (Oct. 23).