The final days of the NBA regular season are upon us, and the Thursday night slate of games is headlined by an Eastern Conference matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic.
On the road for this game, the Cavaliers have made the leap to be a legit contender this season in the east after trading for Donovan Mitchell in the offseason, although they feel like they might be a piece short in the big picture.
The hosts of this game, the Magic, have put together an incredibly strong, young foundation to build off for the years to come. Paolo Banchero looks like he has Rookie of the Year locked up tight, and the rest of the squad continues to develop.
Both teams in this matchup are pretty much locked up in their positions and won’t be shuffling in the final days.
Despite being the home representative, the Magic come in as the underdog in this matchup and the Cavaliers are favored at -4.
A one-two punch from the backcourt
The pairing of Mitchell this offseason with Darius Garland has been a match made in heaven for Cleveland and it makes them one of the scariest backcourts in the league.
Any given night Garland or Mitchell can go off for 40+ points and they continue to carry this team to new heights as they are in the contender group for the first time without LeBron James.
It has made basketball exciting in Cleveland again, and their small forward position still is not filled out the way you would hope for, but it certainly doesn’t hold them back too much in big games.
They should have a superior team in this setting against the Magic, but be on the lookout for any players to potentially rest as they have mostly locked up their seeding.
Preparing for the future of the franchise
With the core they have built in Orlando with an extra draft pick to come in this year’s draft, the Magic are set up for the long haul.
Led by Banchero and Franz Wagner at forward, the rest of the team has been carefully crafted around these two young stars and they have grown considerably since the start of the season.
With all the fuss about the two at forward, the rest of their roster looks strong as well and they will be able to add more lottery picks to their rotation this offseason.
Cavaliers @ Magic Betting Prediction
In terms of the final standings in the Eastern Conference, this game will not have too much weight in the big picture.
That doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting affair, and there should be plenty of offense to keep everyone entertained.
Being the home underdog in this game, the Magic could have some extra motivation coming into this contest, but the Cavaliers are just a better team overall when fully healthy.
Roll with the Cavaliers on the road to win in Orlando and to keep their strong season going.
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