Cleveland Cavaliers secures third consecutive W
The Cleveland Cavaliers sat out the starters on the second night of a back-to-back yet had no problem dispatching the Orlando Magic on the road in a 118-94 drubbing. In a game with little to no bearing on the postseason, the Cavs reserves stepped up to secure their 51st win of the season.
It started out as a close contest for the most part of the first two quarters before the visiting team decided to take over and completely pulled away, leading by as much as 33 points in the second half
Veteran sniper Danny Green led the Cavaliers with 21 points off 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc, while Cedi Osman added 19 markers, five rebounds, and four assists in his first start in a long time. Isaiah Mobley, Lamar Stevens, and Mamadou Diakite also finished with double-digits in scoring.
On the other end, with star rookie Paolo Banchero sitting out, Magic sophomore Jalen Suggs took over to lead all scorers in the game with 22 points, while center Bol Bol chipped in with 18 of his own in the losing effort.
Cavs starters will likely sit out the season finale
After clinching their first postseason berth in five years, Cleveland successfully bolstered their odds for a deep Playoff run, locking into the fourth seed and securing home-court advantage in the first round.
Even with the playoff seedings in the Eastern Conference all but set, the Cavs are now secured to set up a face-off against the New York Knicks in the first round.
With just one game remaining to play and the prospect of overtaking the Philadelphia 76ers for third place out of the picture (they lose out on the tiebreak regardless), head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and the coaching staff may continue to apply “load management” and sit out the key rotation guys in anticipation of their first Playoff series.
Fans are undoubtedly both anxious and excited about hosting a postseason game for the first time in five years. And while it is worth noting that while some of the current players have postseason experience, none of them had been with the team who made the NBA Finals in 2018.
With or without the starters, the Cleveland Cavaliers should look to keep the momentum going as they return home to host the Charlotte Hornets in the regular season finale on April 9.