Nobody felt sorry for the Cavaliers when LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach.
OK, people felt sorry them … but then came the game, and all was forgotten. When the ball was tossed for opening tip, the opponents’ goal was, simply, to beat on the Cavs.
Today, the Orlando Magic are in a similar situation. It’s true that, unlike the Cavs, the Magic willingly traded their superstar. But the Magic only did so because they knew Dwight Howard eventually would have split on his own.
So Howard is with the Lakers, a bunch of spare parts are trying to make names for themselves with the Magic, and the Cavs continue to press forward.
Today’s lesson: Sometimes, possessing a super-duper star along the lines of James and Howard just ain’t worth the trouble.
But like the Cavs before them, the Magic aren’t receiving any sympathy when it comes time to step on the floor. Instead, most opponents are viewing it as payback time for getting occasionally dominated during the Howard era.
That’s especially the case with the Cavs, who rarely beat the Magic even when the Cavs had LeBron.
But the Cavs have had some time to deal with the aftermath. They’ve drafted three top-five picks (Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters) during the past two summers. They’ve moved on, focused on their own business, and attempted to start something exciting via youth and assets.
The Magic are likely to get there someday as well. Right now, though, they’re mostly a mish-mash of guys who may be around in two years, and a whole lot who won’t.
Again, nobody feels sorry for the Magic, at least not on the court. But the Cavs can relate. And now, they’re likely hoping for a little payback of their own.
Amway Center, Orlando
7 p.m. EST
FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Cleveland – WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m.)
C – Anderson Varejao; PF – Tristan Thompson; SF – Alonzo Gee; SG – Dion Waiters; PG – Jeremy Pargo. Coach: Byron Scott.
C – Nikola Vucevic; PF – Glen Davis; SF – Mo Harkless; SG – Arron Afflalo; PG – Jameer Nelson. Coach: Jacque Vaughn.
The Cavs will be aiming for their first back-to-back win of the young season. … This is the second of a five-game homestand for the Magic. … They have won nine straight in the series, and lead all-time, 47-37. … The Cavs have also lost 10 of 12 at Orlando. … Vaughn, a former NBA point guard, is in his first year as a head coach at any level. … Varejao has record two consecutive double-doubles in points and rebounds, and six for the season. … Waiters passed for a career-high six assists in Wednesday’s home win over Philadelphia. … Cavs guard Daniel Gibson is listed as questionable and is a game-time decision.