The Cleveland Cavaliers and Lauri Markkanen can’t pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Welp,*throws hands in the air violently* that was a game! The Cleveland Cavaliers are just, Tom Petty-ing the end of the season. Free falling. They’re free-falling folks. Gotta keep up, I’m in rare form today. Despite great outings from Lauri Markkanen and Darius Garland, the Cavs were unable to get anything done against the Orlando Magic.
I kept waiting for an eight-foot-tall man to come down to Ignas Brazdeikis and say; “You’re a wizard Iggy!” because the nat least last night would make sense. The Magics’ offense is not great. I like where they’re going, I’m a lowkey Magic fan right now. I think Brazdeikis is showing his value, you have the Wagner brothers, Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs; this is a good young core to grow with. If Mo Bamba can be more consistent, this is a playoff team in a few years.
They’re not today, and that’s the issue.
And yes, I know, with Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Dean Wade back, this team is much better defensively. Moses Brown is a poor substitute for this team and its lofty expectations. He’s doing the best he can, but he’s not Allen, Mobley, or even Wade.
The Magic shot 50% from the floor and 45% from three. They dominated offensively and they didn’t even have Franz Wagner for most of the game. The problem comes with the perimeter defense. They crash on the paint when someone drives, only to have the ball kicked out to the open shooter.
That’s how the Magic can dish out 31 assists. They attacked the weakest point, the interior defense, and made everyone get on roller skates in the process. With Mobley and Allen, that isn’t possible to do, and guys like Isaac Okoro and Markkanen are not being pulled off their spots nearly as often.
Without that interior certainty, the rest of the defense is overcompensating and when a team does that, they often lose.
I know this team will be better with Allen and Mobley but dang, when are they coming back?
More horror than fantasy, the Cleveland Cavaliers lose to the Orlando Magic
Cavs Top 3
- Darius Garland
- Kevin Love
- Lauri Markkanen
Darius Garland went full-on double-double mode, posting 27 points and 10 assists but his perimeter defense needed to be better against a frontcourt of Magic players who aren’t exactly world-beaters. That’s why he only gets the free-show shot (one point) for the game.
Kevin Love also went double-double like a Bond villain, pulling 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds; while finishing with a respectable BPM of +3. So Love walks away with the two-pointer.
The three-pointer goes to Lauri Markkanen, who shot 50% from three-point land. Markkanen had 25 points, four rebounds, two blocks, and a BPM of +2.
- Darius Garland (98 points)
- Jarrett Allen (68 points)
- Kevin Love (67)
- Lauri Markkanen (61 points)
- Evan Mobley (51 points)
- Cedi Osman ( 39 points)
- Ricky Rubio (32 points)
- Isaac Okoro (19 points)
- Dean Wade (10 points)
- Lamar Stevens (8 points)
- (*Tied*)Caris LeVert & Rajon Rondo (6 points)
- Brandon Goodwin (3 points)
- (*Tied*) Moses Brown & Dylan Windler (1 point)