A pair of young Eastern Conference teams will meet up on Sunday evening in Cleveland. The Orlando Magic are still right in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference while the Cleveland Cavaliers have their attention on the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft. The Magic beat the Cavaliers earlier this season in Orlando by a score of 102-100.
The Magic enter the weekend just one half game behind the Charlotte Hornets for first place in the Southeast Division. Orlando has won seven of their last nine games, but are still a few games under the .500 mark. The Cavaliers had the worst record in the league for a few months, but have started to win games of late. Cleveland enters the weekend with a record of 15-47. The Magic are -6.0 over the Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Vucevic Carrying Magic Offense
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Magic, but center Nikola Vucevic had other ideas. Vucevic leads the Magic in nearly every category this season, including points (20.5) and rebounds (12.1). The Magic center was named to the All-Star team for his efforts and has taken over the role as the face of the franchise from Aaron Gordon.
Aaron Gordon is averaging 15.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season, but the Magic expected more when they drafted him a few seasons ago. The Magic are averaging under 106 points per game this season which is one of the worst scoring averages in the league. Orlando has been winning games with their defense, allowing just 106.6 points per night. The Magic still have room for improvement, but they are headed in the right direction.
Love Has Cavs Winning Again
When LeBron James left the Cavaliers last summer, Kevin Love immediately became the leader of the team. Love spent much of the season on the sidelines with an injury, but his return has helped the Cavs win four of their last six games. Love is averaging 18.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game this season and will go head-to-head with Vucevic on Sunday night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have actually been worse than the Orlando Magic in terms of scoring. The Cavs are averaging just 103.7 points per night, which is the second-worst mark in the NBA. Cleveland is shooting just over 44 percent from the field, and they don’t have a ton of playmakers who can make the game easier for their teammates. Scoring will be a challenge in this game against a great Magic defense.
Magic Earn Important Road Win
If you are a fan of offense, then this isn’t the NBA game for you. Both the Magic and Cavaliers struggle on the offensive end of the floor, but the Magic have a huge advantage on defense. The Cavaliers have been playing better of late, but this game just means more to the Magic. Bet the Orlando Magic -6.0 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.