Here’s the Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Orlando

The Cavaliers returned to action on Wednesday night as they hosted the winless Orlando Magic(0-5). Cleveland, who came off a 117-107 win in OT over the Wizards on Sunday, was hoping to make it three straight. 

Cleveland led 73-69 heading into the fourth, and the Cavs(3-1) took their largest lead of 12 points in the final quarter as they defeated the Magic 103-92.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Magic.

The Great:

Jarrett Allen: He had season-highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds; this was Allen’s second straight double-double and his third double-double in four games.

Also, according to the Cavs, he surpassed the 3,000 career rebound mark as he becomes the only active NBA player age 25 or younger to reach that mark.

Evan Mobley: The second-year forward had a breakout performance and led the team with a season-high 20 points. Seven of those 20 points came in the fourth. He’s finding his way on the offense and was big Wednesday night.

Cedi Osman: Osman had 14 points off the Cavs’ bench. Again, another strong performance from Osman as he continues to get the job done for the Cavs. He has scored in double-figures in all four games for the Cavs this season.

Second-Half Defense: The Magic shot 50% from the field in the first half. However, the Cavs’ defense stiffened, and Orlando shot only 36% from the field in the second half.

Not So Great:

Donovan Mitchell: I hate to put Donovan Mitchell on this list because he’s been so good this season. However, he was 5/19 from the field and 1/7 from deep. He ended up with 14 points, but he did have eight assists. Mitchell’s shot was off Wednesday night, but to his credit, he did impact the game in other ways. 

Bottom Line:

The Cavs won a game they were supposed to win. They didn’t play their best basketball against the Magic and let them hang around. It wasn’t pretty, but Cleveland got the job done in the end.

What’s Next: 

Cleveland goes on the road Friday night to face the reigning Eastern Conference champions, the Boston Celtics.

Best of the Rest:

The Cavs had six players in double figures for the third straight game, including their starting five. Dean Wade and Caris LeVert had 12 points apiece.

Rookie Paolo Banchero had a career-high 29 points for the Magic, and Franz Wagner added 22.

Junk Yard Dog Award:

Allen and Mobley both received the Junk Yard Dog award for their performances on Wednesday night.

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on loss to Magic: ‘We didn’t show the fight that we needed to show’

The Cleveland Cavaliers went into Orlando to battle the Magic Tuesday night. Coming into this game, Cleveland still had an outside shot of being one of the top six teams in the East.

The Cavs trailed by 10 in the fourth but made a furious rally and had a chance to tie, but Lauri Markkanen missed a three with 48.8 seconds to go, and the Magic defeated the Cavs 120-115 at Amway Center.

Mo Bamba led the way for the Magic with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and six blocks; Orlando had eight players in double figures.

Cleveland(43-37) is now locked into the Play-In Tournament and has last two straight and seven of their last nine, while the Magic(21-59) snapped a six-game losing streak.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Magic.

The Great for the Cavs:

-Darius Garland had game-highs of 27 points and 10 assists, to go along with six rebounds and two steals.

-Lauri Markkanen added 25 points, including a season-high-tying six threes. He also added two blocks.

-Kevin Love had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, and he made a little history as he moved into 9th on Cavs’ all-time scoring list, surpassing Larry Nance Sr. 

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

Defense: What was a strength for this team earlier in the season is now a liability. They allowed the Magic, who are last in points per game, to score 120 points on 51% shooting from the floor, including 46%(16-35) from deep. Unacceptable!!

Third Quarter: After finishing the second quarter on a 7-0 run, the Cavs led 61-59 at halftime. With the game tied at 69 with just under eight minutes in the quarter, Orlando went on an 11-4 run to take their largest lead in the third quarter at 80-73. The Magic shot 52% in the quarter and outscored the Cavs 32-25 to take a 91-86 lead into the fourth.

Second Chance Points: The Cavs allowed the Magic to have success on the offensive glass. Orland had 20-second chance points Tuesday night.

Bottom Line:

If we had said at the beginning of the season that the Cavs would make the Play-In Tournament, most Cavs fans would have signed up for that. However, after the great start this team had, being in the Play-In Tournament is a disappointment.

This loss was unacceptable, inexcusable, and just downright bad! You can’t lose to the Magic when you have so much at stake. We know the Cavs are banged up, but it’s not like they lost to the Suns or Heat; they lost to the Magic.

The seventh-seeded Cavs now must try to stay at seven, so if necessary, they’ll have two home games to win one in the Play-In Tournament, but it won’t be easy.

Cleveland has to play the eighth-seeded Nets(41-38) in Brooklyn Friday night. If the Nets defeat the Knicks Wednesday night, they would be one game behind the Cavs and could tie Cleveland with a win Friday night. In addition, Brooklyn, who leads the season series 2-1, would hold the tiebreaker with a victory.

Furthermore, Cleveland finishes the season at home against the Bucks, who probably will have something to play for, so that won’t be easy.

Also, the ninth-seeded Hawks(41-38) are also 1.5 games behind the Cavs, and the Hawks, like the Nets, play Wednesday night as they host the Wizards. Atlanta won the season series from the Cavs and would hold the tiebreaker if those two teams ended up tied in the standings.

Again, this was a bad loss!!


“Tonight, time and time again, they outworked us,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Give them credit, but it’s disappointing. We didn’t get the job done. We didn’t show the fight that we needed to show.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland heads to Brooklyn to battle the Nets Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

-The Cavs had six players in double figures.

-Moses Brown had his third double-double in four games as he had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

-Ignas Brazdeikis had 20 points for the Magic off the bench. Every player that came off Orlando’s bench scored in double figures.

Cavs’ Garland on Mobley: ‘He brings a lot to the team’

The first three games of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ four-game homestand were against the Warriors, Nets, and Suns, three of the top teams in the NBA, and the Cavs, who played well in those games, lost all three.

However, Cleveland got a welcomed break on Saturday night as they faced the lowly Orlando Magic(4-17). Fortunately for the Cavaliers, they got back rookie Evan Mobley, who missed the last four games with an elbow injury.

Cleveland(10-10), who had five players in double figures against Orlando, started slowly in this one but took over in the second half as they defeated the Magic 105-92 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

With the win, the Cavaliers finished off their four-game homestand 1-3 and snapped their five-game losing streak.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Magic:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

– Darius Garland is off to a great start this season. The third-year guard is playing with a lot of confidence. He had a season and game-high 26 points(11-21 FG, 3-7 3-PT FG) and a game-high 11 assists on Saturday. He’s scored 20-plus points in six out of the last eight games. 

In addition, Garland became the fourth-youngest Cavs player(21) ever to reach 2,000 career points. 

Cavs’ frontcourt: Size does matter! Evan Mobley(6-11), Lauri Markkanen(6-11), and Jarrett Allen(6-10) combined for 52 points, 25 rebounds, six assists, and six block shots against Orlando. Mobley had 13 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high four block shots. Allen had his third consecutive double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks, and Markkanen poured in 20 points, including four threes, and grabbed five rebounds. 

This is what the Cavs had in mind when they decided to start these three players.

Second Half: Cleveland led the Magic 54-49 at halftime. In the third, the Cavaliers started the quarter on an 11-3 run to push the lead to 13. The Cavaliers took a nine-point lead into the fourth. In the final period, Cleveland got hot and shot 50% from the floor, including 5/9 from downtown, and led by as many as 17 in the quarter, which was their largest lead of the game.

Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Cleveland was coasting in the first half and gave Orlando, who was without their leading scorer Cole Anthony(ankle), some life. The Cavaliers handled business in the second half, but they could have had a much easier night.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland is a much different team with Mobley in the lineup, so it’s good to have him back. You wonder if this homestand would have turned out differently if health was on their side. The Cavaliers will have another chance to prove they can compete with some of the top teams in the NBA as they go on the road for three games against the Mavericks, Heat, and Wizards.

“He brings a lot to the team with the way he blocks shots, grabs rebounds, and, of course, his dunking,” Garland said about Mobley.

What’s Next:

Cleveland begins their three-game road trip on Monday in Dallas against the Mavericks.

Best of the Rest:

-All five of Orlando’s starters scored in double figures on Saturday night, led by Wendell Carter Jr.’s 19 points and 11 rebounds.

-Cedi Osman had 10 points off the Cavs’ bench.

Watch below as Garland, Mobley, and Allen react to Cleveland’s win over Orlando:




76ers trade former number one overall pick Markelle Fultz to Orlando

The Markelle Fultz era in Philadelphia is over. The Philadelphia 76ers announced on Thursday that they have traded Fultz to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, a 2020 protected first-round pick (via Oklahoma City) and a 2019 second-round pick.

Oklahoma City’s 2020 first-round pick is protected Nos. 1-20. If it does not convey in 2020, it becomes two Thunder second-round picks (2022 and 2023). The 2019 second-round pick will be the most favorable selection of Cleveland, Houston, Orlando, and Portland.

Fultz, 20,  was originally selected by Philadelphia with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He appeared in 33 games (15 starts) over a season-plus, averaging 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. However, due to injury, Fultz was never able to have a successful run with the 76ers. In reality, Fultz needed a change of scenery. He is in a smaller market, and hopefully, he can get right.

The 29-year-old Simmons has appeared in 41 games (nine starts) with the Magic this season and is averaging 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 20.6 minutes per contest.



Dwight Howard on Hornets: ‘Great coach, great GM, and the GOAT, so I think this is the perfect opportunity’

Dwight Howard went home to Atlanta last year after signing a three-year, $70.5 million deal, but after one season with the Hawks, the team wanted to go in a different direction. Howard, who was traded by the Hawks to the Hornets last week, will have an opportunity to be reunited with Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. As an assistant coach with the Magic and Lakers, Clifford worked with Howard for six seasons.

The Hornets introduced Howard today. The 31-year-old center will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong.  Howard feels Charlotte is a great opportunity, and feels he has a lot left in the tank.

“I think I’m a lot healthier than I’ve been in the past five years. I think this is gonna be my best time,” Howard said.

“A lot of people always talk about the past, but I think I’m a lot wiser now, stronger, mentally and physically. I’m in the right place. Great coach, great GM, and the GOAT (Michael Jordan), so I think this is the perfect opportunity.”

Howard is not the same guy that Clifford coached in Orlando, but he still can be an effective player in the right situation. Howard is familiar with Steve Clifford, and averaged a double-double last season in Atlanta. Clifford told reporters last week that he believes Howard can still play at a high level. Plus, the Hornets really did not give up much up to get Howard. Charlotte reportedly wanted Howard last year before he signed with Atlanta.

This move is worth the risk for Jordan and the Hornets.





Dwight Howard: ‘I came here(Atlanta) to win’

LeBron James went home, and won a championship in Cleveland. Dwight Howard went home, and the Hawks went out in the first-round.

“I didn’t come back here just to come back home. I came here to win,” Howard told reporters. Also, Howard was not happy with his role in Atlanta.

“I want to play. I want to be out on the floor. I want to make a difference. I want to make an impact, and I can’t do that on the bench.” Howard told reporters.

The 31-year-old Howard averaged only 8 ppg in the playoffs, and was not much a factor against the Wizards.

Howard signed a 3-year, 70.5 million dollar deal with the Hawks last summer. Atlanta might be stuck with him, so I guess they will have to make it work!