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Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers

Team Totals: Magic 109.8, Cavs 113.8

Injury Report: Dean Wade (Q, ankle), Caris LeVert (O, knee), Markelle Fultz (O, knee), Wendell Carter Jr.

Magic projected starters: Anthony Black, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Goga Bitadze

Cavs projected starters: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

Mosley quotes: Said they had issues with fouling against the Nets (Nets blew them out), said Paolo and Franz continue to play off each other, said they’ll monitor Isaac’s minutes going forward.

Bickerstaff quotes: Said Okoro was “awesome when they needed him to be” against the Pistons, said the team feeds off how Georges Niang plays, said they’ll get some practice time in with their time off heading into Wednesday’s game.

Stats and Notes: 

*When the Magic have the ball, we get a strength vs. strength matchup. The Cavs are the second-best rim D per possession while the Magic have the most rim points scored in the league. The Cavs also live around the basket with their 44.6 rim points ranking fifth, and the Magic have some pretty strong rim D at 11th in points and 10th per possession. These defenses are also playing great with the Magic at third overall and the Cavs at eighth. The Cavs haven’t been as great on the boards with a lot of putback chances allowed, so that’s a path for some of the Orlando frontcourt guys. Both of these teams play slowly, but at least the Cavs are in the middle of the pack in offensive pace. This is a pretty bad game environment.

*The Magic are still a little short-handed with Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. out, but Franz Wagner has been able to string games together as they wait to get their guys back. Franz had a pretty bad game on Saturday, and he still was able to put up a 20/7/5 line. In his last five games, he’s driving a ton at 14.4 drives for 10.6 points on those. He had a huge streak of rim scoring, but the B2B against the Nets slowed him down. The matchup isn’t great for him with the Cavs having a decent bit of size and good rim protection. He’s not a great option today.

*Paolo Banchero hasn’t been as aggressive with his scoring as Franz has been on the rise. Paolo hasn’t had the same rim impact that Franz has recently, and Paolo doesn’t have much of a transition game either. He does have a pretty good handling role overall, and the Magic will likely have to grind their way to scoring, which is more of Paolo’s game. In other words, Franz should be able to capitalize on the easy matchups while Paolo has to carry the team in games like today.

*Cole Anthony has been the Magic’s lead handler, and he should run into some favorable matchups from a 1-on-1 perspective. He doesn’t have a compelling ceiling case with the Magic needing some on-ball defense for the Cleveland guards. I’m not too into him today.

*Jalen Suggs should have to play heavier minutes here to pick up some on-ball defense. The problem is the stats haven’t been there, and he doesn’t have any handling these days. It’s a tough sell.

*This isn’t a great spot for Goga Bitadze or Moe Wagner, but the Magic may have to up Moe’s minutes for his more dynamic scoring compared to Goga.

*While the Magic have been a great defense overall, their on-ball defense isn’t as great as their interior D. They’ve allowed the 10th-most points to PNR handlers, which could set up Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell. The Magic will almost certainly put Suggs on Mitchell while Black starts on Garland, so Garland does get the better 1-on-1 matchup. Although, the Magic do have a weaker transition D, so that could work in Mitchell’s favor. I’d rather lean more into Mitchell for this matchup overall, but you can make a pretty strong case for Garland. Garland has been more aggressive lately and has consistently been the main handler. 

*Besides the Cleveland guards, there’s not too much to like there. The Magic have been great at limiting C&S shots, so that could cut down Max Strus’ open looks. The good news on Strus is that Bickerstaff has been running a really tight rotation, which could lead to just a boatload of minutes for Strus, Garland, and Mitchell.

*Evan Mobley doesn’t get a very good matchup here, but at least the playing time will be there. Plus, the Magic love to put pressure on the rim, so that could lead to some block opportunities for Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Chances are nobody’s going to play them and at least the minutes will be there with the Cavs just not having any reliable bigs behind their two starters.

 

Great matchups: Nobody

Good matchups: Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland

Bad matchups: Franz Wagner, Jarrett Allen

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Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons

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