The two teams are lottery-bound and are virtually out of the playoff race. However, that doesn’t mean that the Cleveland Cavaliers players aren’t interested in going for one of the play-in tournament spots. They’re six games behind the Washington Wizards for the 10th and final spot, but it will take a miracle for them to catch up, especially after going 0-3 on the road recently.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic will meet for the third and final time this season. They had a back-to-back set in January, and the latter won both games. Things have drastically changed for the Magic, who had a 6-2 record at the time.
Fixture - Orlando Magic vs Cleveland Cavaliers | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Wednesday, April 28th, 7:00 PM ET (Wednesday, April 29th, 4:30 AM IST)
Venue - Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic have the worst record in the East and the third-worst record in the entire NBA with an 18-43 mark. Against the LA Lakers on Monday, the Magic lost 114-103 despite leading 80-79 at the start of the fourth quarter.
April has been a particularly difficult month for the Orlando Magic as they have won just two games so far. They are on a six-game losing streak, their second this month.
As they face a team that’s struggling just as they are, the Orlando Magic have a good opportunity to break out of their slump.
Key Player - Cole Anthony
Cole Anthony has been playing exceptionally well since coming back from a lengthy stint on the Orlando Magic's injury list.
During those 11 games, the rookie guard averaged 13.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game in 27.4 minutes.
Against the Lakers on Monday, he had 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field while adding seven assists and four rebounds. He made some big baskets during the second quarter when the Orlando Magic made their run to come back from a double-digit deficit. Unfortunately, they surrendered their lead in the second half, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Cole Anthony l Shooting Guard - Gary Harris l Small Forward - Dwayne Bacon l Power Forward - Chuma Okeke l Center - Wendell Carter Jr.
Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
At 21-40, the Cleveland Cavaliers brass are more interested in making the lottery. However, for a team that’s already mired near the bottom of the standings, internal strife can be a back-breaker.
During Monday's game versus the Toronto Raptors, veteran forward Kevin Love slapped the basketball inbounds in frustration, leading to a turnover and a basket for their opponent. The play was shocking as the Cleveland Cavaliers were down by just six points with 33.3 seconds left in the third quarter. Love later apologized to his team, but it’s unclear what the future holds for him.
There are no updates as to Love’s status for the Orlando Magic game, but with six players on the injured list, the Cavs may have no choice but to make him available.
Key Player - Darius Garland
Darius Garland has been on fire since scoring a career-high 37 points against the San Antonio Spurs on April 5.
In his last 11 games, he averaged 22.9 points on 49.2 percent shooting from the field and 43.4 percent from three. He also dished out 7.4 assists and stole the ball 1.4 times per game during that stretch.
The second-year man out of Vanderbilt has been a bright spot for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season as his development has been quite remarkable. He’s now tapping into the potential that made him the No. 5 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Darius Garland l Shooting Guard - Isaac Okoro l Small Forward - Cedi Osman l Power Forward - Dean Wade l Center - Jarrett Allen
Magic vs Cavaliers Match Prediction
The Cleveland Cavaliers have so many players out that it’s hard to picture which players are left. When Love’s uncertain status is also considered, this is a game that the Orlando Magic cannot allow to get away from them.
If everything goes as expected, the Orlando Magic will defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers and hand them their fourth loss in a row. The Magic will also snap their six-game losing streak and win their third game of the month.