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What They're Saying Before the Orlando Magic Face Off Against the Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Cleveland Cavaliers at mercy of diva LeBron James
    Brian Schmitz comments on the threat of LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers via free agency in the summer of 2010 and reveals sign-and-trade possibilities, assuming the Cavs wanted to receive compensation if it were to lose its superstar. Here's a scenario involving the Orlando Magic:

    --- LeBron to Orlando for Vince Carter. (Sorry Vince). It's far-fetched, as the Cavs wouldn't want to turn Orlando into a title favorite from the East for the next decade. But they would receive an eight-time all-star whose contract expires after next season. The Magic would have to dump some serious salary down the line to sign James and pair him with Dwight Howard. (Here's the Rashard Lewis contract albatross at work). This could be a terrific route for James --- and Orlando --- to a title if he'll play for 89 cents. What if the Magic threw in center Marcin Gortat with Carter and. say, took on another Cavs' contract to complete a deal for LeBron? Hmmmm?
  • Will Cleveland Cavaliers' marriage work out?
    George Diaz wonders aloud whether or not the Cavaliers' new marriage with former Magic player Shaq will work out this year.

  • How does Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard stack up against Shaquille O'Neal?
    Josh Robbins takes a look at how Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal stack up to each other during their first six years in the NBA. Click here to take a look at the comparison with the use of advanced statistics, if you'd like, at Basketball-Reference

  • Off-day fun: The time I ranted about Kuester
    John Krolik of the excellent Cavs: The Blog explains how the loss of former assistant coach, and current Detroit Pistons head coach, John Kuester isn't the reason why the Cavs have been off to a slow start, offensively (20th in offensive efficiency, so far). Instead, it has more to do with the big fella.

    The issue has been incorporating Shaq, not the loss of Kuester’s sets. The argument for Kuester would be that he was such an all-around offensive genius that he would be able to solve the issue of the lack of weak-side movement when Shaq’s on the floor, despite the fact Kuester’s offense revolved around bigs on the perimeter and drive-and-kick basketball during his Cleveland campaign.
  • Today at 3:00 p.m. EST, Ben and I will chat with the aforementioned John Krolik at his site to preview tonight's game between Orlando and Cleveland. If you want to drop by, ask us some questions and read along, feel free to do so. We'd be happy to have your company. 
  • Stan Van Gundy Can Mince Words with the Best
    UPDATE: Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline takes a look at some quotes from Dwight Howard and head coach Stan Van Gundy.

    The Magic are this season's underdogs. A friend said there are basically two kinds of basketball experts: Those who thinks the Magic will be in the Finals, and those who don't even mention them seriously as contenders. This is the kind of thing that can motivate a team, make them especially sensitive, or both. So far, it seems like both are taking place.