On the second night of a back-to-back set, the Orlando Magic have the opportunity to pad their record against the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the league's worst teams, this evening at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland has dropped 3 straight games and 13 of its last 14, which isn't much of a surprise, owing to the dearth of talent on the roster. The Cavaliers tried to improve the situation by waiving Jawad Williams and signing Alonzo Gee, who's had two strong games against the Magic this season, but shuffling the reserve swingmen on this team isn't nearly enough to vault it out of the East's cellar.
In the first meeting between the teams this season, Orlando had its inside-out game working to perfection. Dwight Howard roughed the Cavaliers up for 23 points, but his teammates drilled 14 of their 31 three-point attempts. Further, Jameer Nelson was as aggressive and engaged as ever, blowing by Williams for easy scores at the basket; Nelson shot 7-of-8 on two-point baskets. Williams can't stay in front of Nelson, really, so I expect more of the same tonight. Further, Bob Finnan of The News-Herald writes that Cavs coach Byron Scott is displeased with his team's defense of the pick-and-roll. Orlando will surely test that defense tonight with a steady diet of those plays involving myriad combinations of screeners and ballhandlers.
Depending on how you feel about the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings, the Cavaliers might be the worst team in the league. Orlando shouldn't have much trouble containing their meager offense or exploiting their defensive shortcomings. Just watch Daniel Gibson, if he's overcome his flu, and Anthony Parker at the three-point line: they're a combined 43 percent from beyond the arc this year. Don't leave them open, or at least try running them off the line, as they're shooting 39.1 percent on two-pointers.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|19-12 (8-4 road) |
|8-22 (5-9 home) |
|December 28th, 2010|
|Quicken Loans Arena|
|Fox Sports Florida|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Mo Williams|
|Jason Richardson||SG||Daniel Gibson|
|Hedo Turkoglu||SF||Anthony Parker|
|Brandon Bass||PF||Antawn Jamison|
|Dwight Howard||C||Anderson Varejao|
|November 26th: Magic 111, Cavaliers 100|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|91.5 (19th)||Pace||92.9 (15th)|
|105.9 (16th)||ORtg||100.5 (29th)|
|101.5 (4th)||DRtg||110.0 (T-25th)|