February 8, 2013;Cleveland, OH USA: Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) makes a layup as Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) defends during the game at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports

Game 54: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic Preview

LAST TIME OUT

The Cavaliers continued their winning ways against the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 18, winning 114-85. The 29-point win was their largest margin of victory in the post-LeBron era. Dion Waiters left the game in the second quarter, after hyperextending his knee following a dunk, and did not return, but the team faired well without him. Three Cavalier frontcourt players had double-doubles in the victory: Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett. It was a balanced, team effort that led to the thumping of Philly.

THIS TIME UP

The Opponent: Orlando Magic

Record: 16-39

Tipoff: 7 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland

Where you can watch: Fox Sports Ohio

Where you can listen: WTAM 1100

Previous Matchup: Cleveland 87, Orlando 81- Jan. 2

Opponent’s Blog: Presto in The Paint

Injury Report

Magic: None

Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao (Back), Carrick Felix (Knee)

Keeping It Rolling

The All-Star break may have helped, but frankly I’d say playing Philadelphia was the main reason the team looked so great on Tuesday. Even with that said, the team still displayed positives as they pushed their winning streak to five games, their longest since March 2010. Tyler Zeller had 18 points and 15 rebounds, while starting for Andy. Kyrie, who had a relatively busy All-Star Weekend by competing in the three-point contest and the game itself, played limited minutes against Philly. I expect tonight’s game vs. Orlando to be slightly more competitive, so watching Kyrie will be important. I hope to see the more all-around player that was on the court prior to the break. Things are looking good for the Wine & Gold as they continue to keep this streak rolling.

Hitting the Road, Jack

If we are lucky, tonight might be Jarrett Jack’s final appearance wearing a jersey that says “Cavs” or “Cavaliers” on it. With the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline looming, rumors have surfaced about the team dealing the struggling summer acquisition. I have my fingers crossed that newly minted GM David Griffin can make Jack hit the road. In the past 10 games, he has averaged a measly 5.3 points and 3.4 assists. He frequently looks lost, as he did Tuesday against the Sixers. Griffin would be doing us all — including Dion Waiters — a favor by dealing him to anyone willing. Take it in folks, as tonight could (hopefully) be your final time watching Jack in Wine & Gold.

Paint Battles

Orlando’s center, Nikola Vucevic, could be a handful for the Cavs down low. He did not play when the two teams met in January, but as of late, he has been a near double-double guarantee. As mentioned above, three Wine & Gold players had double-doubles of their own against Philly, so the team will have a few players to throw Vucevic’s way in the paint, but I still have concern. If he controls the glass, more so the offensive side, it might throw a wrench in the Cavs’ plans of extending their win streak to seven games. Vucevic is a very talented, young big man who has a bright future around the Association, and Cavs fans will see that tonight.

Prediction

Why would I not pick the Cavs tonight? All signs are pointing to the team keeping this whole win streak thing going. It feels weird even typing about a winning streak surrounding the Cavaliers, especially with how the first half of the season was shaping up. Anyways, I like the chances of them making it seven in a row tonight. I expect a solid game from Kyrie and the three frontcourt players I mentioned earlier. Both of these teams have plenty of young talent, but I think the Cavs youngsters get it done at The Q tonight, 101-94.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Jarrett Jack Tyler Zeller

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