2 best, 2 worst matchups for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs

As the Cleveland Cavaliers' playoff matchup chances linger, their best chance to win in the first round may be heavily influenced by the last couple games of the regular season.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers
Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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The Cavs would be favorites against the Orlando Magic

Currently the Orlando Magic have the fifth seed with a record of 46-34. If the playoffs started today, the Cavs would be matched up with the Magic, and the Cavaliers having home court advantage. This could very well be the first round matchup and Cavalier fans should be hoping for it.

Much like the Indiana Pacers, the Orlando Magic make for a good playoff opponent due to their youth and playoff inexperience. Last year the Orlando Magic finished 13th in the Eastern Conference, not even playing in the Play-In Tournament.

They have a lot of young talent and are an elite defensive team. Their defense gave the Cavs some fits during the regular season, and the Magic were able to beat the Cavaliers two times this regular season campaign. Still, looking at the age of their best players makes them an appealing first round matchup. At 21 years old, Paolo Banchero leads the Magic in scoring in his second season with 22.5 poins pegame. Their next two top scorers, Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, are only 22 years old each. If Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers can find an offensive rhythm and overcome the Magic’s tough defense, the Cavaliers should be able to defeat this up-and coming-Magic team.

Most of Cleveland's core is still relatively young themselves, but their veteran leadership and recent playoff experience can give them the edge on Orlando. If the Cavs hope to win, though, they will need to prioritize maintaining their intensity in the face of hard contact. The Magic have a similar physical approach to the Knicks, meaning Cleveland will have to show they have learned from their past mistakes. The Cavaliers must emphasize grit on the boards, not allowing extra offensive rebounds and possessions.