The Orlando Magic will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, and they need a win to keep their postseason hopes alive. The eighth spot in the Eastern Conference is still up for grabs, but the Magic need to start winning games if they are going to grab it. Cleveland, on the other hand, is just trying to get the regular season over to start preparing for the draft.
The Cavaliers come into this game with the worst record in the Central Division, but they have been playing better of late. Cleveland beat Orlando just a short time ago and has shown some life in the second half of the season. The Magic are battling Miami for the top spot in the Southeast Division, but neither team seems ready to grab it. Orlando has gone 18-16 at home this season while struggling on the road. The Magic are -8.0 in this matchup against the Cavs.
Cavs are Shorthanded
The Cleveland Cavaliers were without several players in their most recent game, and the organization is also okay with resting players. Center Tristan Thompson has been out with a foot injury, while Kevin Love has been listed as day-to-day. The Cavaliers are the second-worst scoring team in the NBA at 104.0 points per game, and they also don’t defend very well. If Thompson and Love don’t suit up for this game, the Cavaliers don’t stand much of a chance.
Point guard Jordan Clarkson has been a terrific scoring option for the Cavaliers off the bench, and he looks like a fixture in Cleveland moving forward. Clarkson is averaging 16.9 points per game and is a terrific shooter. Youngsters Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman have combined for more than 28 points per game this season and will look to carry the team against the Magic.
Magic Just Can’t Score Enough Points
The Orlando Magic have had some big games on offense this season, but they haven’t been able to score points on a consistent basis. The Magic are averaging just under 106 points per game this season, which is near the bottom of the league. Orlando has failed to reach 100 points in most of their recent losses, but they should be able to find some offense against the Cavaliers.
All-Star center Nikola Vucevic is one player that can not be blamed for the offensive struggles of the Magic. Vucevic leads the team with 20.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per game this season and should have a big game against a Cavs team that is missing their big men. Point guard D.J. Augustin has chipped in with 11.4 points per game and is capable of making a ton of shots.
Orlando Gets Important Win Over Cleveland
The Cleveland Cavaliers have played better in recent weeks, but they are extremely short-handed in this game. Orlando is a desperate team, and they need to take advantage of a week Cavaliers team on Thursday night. The Magic might struggle to score, but they will put up enough points to win the game. Take the Orlando Magic -8.0 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.