Game 47: Cavs at Magic
at Amway Center
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have lost 20 games in a row, a franchise record for consecutive losses in one season. They've probably forgotten what it's like to win a game.
Those of you who read this blog religiously have read about "schedule" losses. It's when the league makes out the schedule and you can just look at it and say, "There's a loss." These back-to-back games at Orlando and Miami are "schedule" losses.
Even if things were going well for the Cavs - and it's not - these would be difficult to win.
The Magic have not been tearing up the league as of late. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games. But they play pretty well at home where they are 18-6.
Magic GM Otis Smith made the two big moves on Dec. 18 and it added talent to the roster. However, the roster is not complete, as the Magic don't have a legitimate backup center after sending the Polish Hammer, Marcin Gortat, to the Suns.
But we'll let Smith and the rest of the Magic worry about them.
The Cavs have lost a franchise-record 23 games in a row on the road. They don't have to worry about the all-time NBA mark. The Sacramento Kings lost 43 in a row on the road (37 to end the 1990-91 season, first six to start the 1991-92 campaign).
The Cavs are playing well in spurts of games. They all end the same way. They allow their opponent to go on a run, then the Cavs storm back to within a few points. At the end, they don't know how to close out games, so they lose.
After watching Northwestern on Saturday against Ohio State, the Wildcats ran the Princeton offense. It didn't look anything like the Cavs' version of it. They moved. They cut off screens, They got open shots and they made them. The Cavs don't have players, other than Daniel Gibson, who can make shots.
If one is looking for reasons for Sunday's loss, look no further than the rebounding column. The Magic won the battle of the boards, 61-35. They also grabbed 24 offensive rebounds.
Also, the Cavs had just one starter reach double figures - rookie guard Manny Harris with 20 points, six rebounds and three assists. The other four starters combined for a meager 20 points on 8 of 34 shooting from the floor. What a joke.
Rookie power forward Samardo Samuels had a strong game with a career-high 16 points. He made 6 of 8 from the field.
The Cavs have no one to guard Magic center Dwight Howard. He had his way with 20 points and 20 rebounds. It marked the 30th 20/20 game of his career.
They have lost five in a row to the Magic, including the first three meetings this season. In the first game in Orlando, a 111-100 setback on Nov. 26, Howard was 13 of 26 from the foul line.
The Magic has attempted 31 3-point goals in each of the three games against the Cavs. They have made 14, 19 and nine in the three contests. Forward Ryan Anderson was 5 of 10 behind the arc. He finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs.
The Cavs have also lost 30 of the last 31 overall, and 0-15 in the month of January.
SF Christian Eyenga (6-5, 210) vs. Hedo Turkoglu (6-10, 220)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Brandon Bass (6-8, 250)
C J.J. Hickson (6-9, 242) vs. Dwight Howard (6-11, 275)
SG Manny Harris (6-6, 185) vs. Jason Richardson (6-6, 225)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 185) vs. Jameer Nelson (6-0, 190)
Cavs – C Anderson Varejao, F Leon Powe, G Mo Williams.
Magic – C Daniel Orton, G Gilbert Arenas.
Monty McCutchen, David Guthrie, Derek Richardson.