Preview: Cavaliers at Orlando
By Zac Jackson
FOX Sports Ohio
November 26, 2010
Previewing tonight's Cavaliers-Magic game...
THE SKINNY: Cavaliers (6-8) at Magic (10-4), 7 p.m., Amway Center. Fred McLeod and Austin Carr have the call on FSOhio.
THE STARTERS: The Cavaliers figure to stick with the lineup that changed at the beginning of the week when Joey Graham became the starting small forward. That includes Mo Williams and Anthony Parker in the backcourt and J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao in the frontcourt.
Jameer Nelson runs the point for the Magic, who also start Rashard Lewis, J.J. Redick and Dwight Howard. Vince Carter (knee) might not play, and Quentin Richardson will start in his place if he can't go. Nelson had 17 points and 14 assists before he was ejected late in Orlando's win over the Heat Wednesday night.
THE SCOOP: After a slow start, the Magic are playing like the Magic again. Howard seems to have a new confidence at the offensive end and has been his usual, dominant self on the glass and in the paint. He's one of two players averaging double-digits in points and rebounds and averaging more than 2 blocks per game. The Cavs -- especially when Varejao has been in the lineup -- have defended the paint pretty well but will be tested as Magic backup forward Brandon Bass is having a nice year as well.
The Cavs come in off a much-needed victory at home over Milwaukee Wednesday night on a buzzer-beating jump shot by Williams, who scored 21 of his 25 in the second half. The Cavs are now 3-1 on the year when Williams scores 20 or more.
Scoring consistently has been a problem for the Cavs, who have the league's top-scoring bench but haven't put two good shooting performances together since early this month. Graham and Hickson have given the Cavs a rebounding boost and Daniel Gibson continues to play well off the bench, but the Cavaliers will need a top effort at both ends to have a shot at winning this one.
THE SERIES: The Magic has won two in a row, and the Cavs are 14-25 all-time in the Amway Center. This is the first of four meetings this season.
WHAT'S AHEAD: The Cavaliers complete a busy week with a Saturday night home game vs. Memphis, then play two home games next week: Boston Tuesday and Miami Thursday.