After a rather surprising 2-1 week following a nine-game losing streak, the Orlando Magic continue to have the third-worst record in the NBA at 21-53. The Magic are 4.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (16-57), while being 2 games behind the Utah Jazz (23-51), and 2.5 games behind the Boston Celtics (23-50), the two teams immediately ahead of the Magic.
Orlando will likely be underdogs in all three games this week. Here's a look at the schedule:
Wednesday, April 2nd: Cleveland Cavaliers at Magic, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who has missed the last two weeks with a strained left biceps, may or may not be available for this game. The same goes for the overall number one draft pick last summer, small forward Anthony Bennett, who has missed three weeks with a strained left knee.
The Cavaliers, who are 30-45, have won four of their last five games despite the injuries, and are making a last-ditch attempt for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Cleveland trails the ninth-place New York Knicks by 1.5 games, and the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks by 2.5 games.
The Cavaliers will be trying for the season sweep, as they have beaten the Magic in their three previous games. That includes a 109-100 victory in Orlando on December 13th, as Irving scored 31 points with Anderson Varejão grabbing 14 rebounds.
Friday, April 4th: Magic at Charlotte Bobcats, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The seventh-place Bobcats are 4.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Knicks, and look to be in solid position to make the playoffs.
Charlotte will be looking for payback following their five-point overtime loss to the Magic last Friday in Orlando, while the Magic will be looking to win the season series. Orlando has won two of the previous three games, including a rare road victory, 92-83, on December 11th, which is one of the Magic's four road wins all season. Jameer Nelson had 17 points and 6 assists to lead the Magic.
Saturday, April 5th: Minnesota Timberwolves at Magic, 7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Florida
The Timberwolves are the last Western Conference team to visit the Magic this season. The tenth-place Timberwolves, despite averaging the third-most points in the NBA with 106.9 points per game, are all but eliminated from playoff contention, trailing the eighth-place Dallas Mavericks by seven games with ten games remaining.
Star power forward Kevin Love is having a tremendous season, averaging 26.3 points per game along with 12.6 rebounds. Shooting guard Kevin Martin averages 19.2 points per game, and center Nikola Peković averages 17.9 points per game. Point guard Ricky Rubio averages 8.5 assists per game to 2.6 turnovers, but has a True Shooting Percentage of just 49.4 percent.
The T-Wolves will be going for the season sweep, as they beat the Magic in Minnesota in a very exciting contest way back on October 30th, 120-115, in overtime. Love had a terrific game of 31 points and 17 rebounds.