Feb 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Team Shaq guard Dion Waiters (3) of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots against Team Chuck center Nikola Vucevic (9) of the Orlando Magic during the second half of the rising stars challenge during the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Statistical Showdown

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After shipping away J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon, Josh McRoberts and Ish Smith in return for Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih and Hakim Warrick, the Orlando Magic (15-40) should have a full roster for Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers (17-37). The Magic have lost 16 of their last 17 contests and just recently matched up with the Memphis Grizzlies in Tennessee shorthanded due to their last-second trade on Thursday.

The Magic will have to rely on rested legs if they want to compete with the Wine and Gold, as starters Andrew Nicholson, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Affalo and E’Twaun Moore all played significantly high minutes in the six-point loss on Friday. Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson were kept on the bench due to injuries, while Hedo Turkoglu is still serving his league-mandated suspension. This very well could be a game that Cleveland absolutely pounds their opponent into the ground, but they will have to fight hard down low. That was a weak point in Cleveland’s victory against the Magic more than two weeks ago:

Statistics

 

Points

Points Allowed

Assists

Assists Allowed

Rebounds

Rebounds Allowed

Cavaliers

97.1 (15th)

101.2 (24th)

20.4 (26th)

23.6 (26th)

41.0 (24th)

42.3 (15th)

Magic

93.8 (24th)

99.4 (20th)

23.2 (7th)

23.2 (22nd)

42.8 (12th)

42.2 (14th)

Advanced Statistics

 

Offensive Efficiency

Defensive Efficiency

Cavaliers

100.9 (17th)

106.9 (28th)

Magic

99.4 (26th)

105.4 (24th)

Four Factors

 

eFG%

Free Throw Rate

Turnover Rate

Offensive Rebound Rate

Cavaliers

47.3 (24th)

.201 (19th)

13.1 (6th)

28.9 (9th)

Magic

48.9 (17th)

.144 (29th)

13.8 (12th)

25.3 (23rd)

Players to Watch:

Cavaliers – Dion Waiters

1. 51.9 percent – field goal percentage in February

2. 14.3 PPG – scoring in losses

3. 38.9 percent – field goal percentage in losses

Magic – Arron Afflalo

1. 16.8 PPG – leads team

2. 21.0 PPG – versus Cleveland this season

3. 36.6 MPG – leads team

Key Matchup: Tyler Zeller vs. Nikola Vucevic – Vucevic only played 25 minutes in Memphis on Friday night, so his motor should be running at full go against the Cavaliers in Orlando. That could be a problem for the Cavaliers, as the sophomore center went off for a 25-point, 13-rebound performance in a losing effort last time these teams met up. Zeller failed to get off one shot attempt, but did work well down low in getting to the free throw line. If the rookie’s offensive game isn’t on point on Saturday, he will have to limit Vucevic on the defensive side of things. The former USC center is averaging 12.4 points and 11.5 rebounds in just his second season. Zeller needs to be able to compete with players in the same age bracket as him sooner rather than later.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Tyler Zeller

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