NBA Twitter reacts to Cleveland Cavaliers meltdown in Game 4 against Orlando Magic

Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic - Game Four
Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic - Game Four / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

After two solid wins against the Orlando Magic at home in the first two games of the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers have suddenly regressed and look lifeless as they head back to Ohio for Game 5.

The Magic embarrassed the Cavaliers, holding them to under 100 points in all four games this series, and under 90 in the two games in Orlando. In Game 4, the Cavs opened the afternoon on a hot streak, building up a double-digit lead in the first half and maintaining a solid advantage at the break. Within five minutes of the second half, the Magic erased Cleveland's lead, and the Cavs never seemed interested in responding.

The Cavs have yet to experience any significant bench production, and coach J.B. Bickerstaff has returned to his frustrating lineup choices and stubborn mistakes. During a 27-5 run in favor of Orlando, Bickerstaff never called a timeout, watching from the sideline as the Cavaliers were dismantled by a young and inexperienced squad.

While the series is not over, the Cavaliers actively tanked their final game of the regular season to match up with the Magic. Their conscious effort to target a young Orlando squad seemed to suggest the Cavs would enter the playoffs with a gameplan curated for the Magic. Instead, they have continued a streak of losing every playoff road game under Bickerstaff's leadership. In nine playoff games as the head coach, the Cavaliers have only achieved a 100-point score once.

Undoubtedly, the blame goes beyond the coach or the bench. As Donovan Mitchell said himself in his postgame interview, he has to do better. He only attempted four field goals in the second half after an 18-point performance at intermission. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen started hot, crashing the boards and playing physical to score. By the time the game was over, their energy was nothing more than a flashback to the 2023 series against the New York Knicks.

The Cavaliers remain favorites to win at home in Game 5, but the fanbases' confidence in the team as they face the prospect of a meeting with either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat in round two has dissipated. From holding stars accountable to calling for Bickerstaff's job, Cleveland was irate following the loss. Rightfully so, fans took to Twitter (X) to have their voices heard.

Fans react to the Cavaliers' second embarrassment in a row against the Magic

Darius Garland's regression this season has left a pit in the stomach of many fans of the organization. The ressurgence to prominence for the Cavaliers was spurred by his breakout third season, but he has yet to establish any promising postseason record. Garland faced numerous uncontrollable setbacks this season from injuries and personal life ordeals, but Cavaliers fans are seemingly out of patience with the young star.

In the four games of the series so far, Garland has averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 assists, 3.3 turnovers, and a dismal 40.3 percent from the field. With the largest salary on the team, low volume and poor efficiency is profoundly unacceptable in high-stakes postseason play.

As for the bench, Georges Niang rounds out Cleveland's frontcourt lineup and is nearly unplayable. He has contributed more fouls than points, and the Magic are hunting him on every play down the court. While the rest of the second unit deserves flack and frustration, Niang's uninspiring activity has soured on the fanbase.

For a team hellbent on shedding last year's reputation, their consistency and commitment waiver far too frequently for any squad intending to build toward a championship run. With Donovan Mitchell at the helm, the Cavs have no excuse to cheer for mediocrity. Trading for Mitchell was a bet on Mobley's development; yet, the young Cavalier big's usage has stayed nearly identical since his rookie year. Mobley holds the keys to Cleveland's future, but they have not put him at the forefront of their priorities or gameplans.

The truth of the matter is that the Cavaliers have more problems than a head coach. This playoff series will hold long-lasting implications for the franchise, and changes need to be made beyond one decision in leadership. Since Mitchell's arrival, onlookers have noted the clunky and confusing fit among the frontcourt and backcourt. While Allen and Mobley have grown together with Mobley's improved offense, the backcourt has stagnated. The bench still lacks any significant impact, and the improved wing depth has led to height disadvantages against the Magic.

Despite the losses, the series is tied, and the next game is in Cleveland. The Cavaliers host the Magic for Game 5 on Tuesday, April 30 in what will likely be a do-or-die atmosphere. An overwhelming majority of teams who win Game 5 when tied 2-2 entering the game go on to win the series. If the Cavs have any intentions of rejecting their "soft" label from last year, they cannot afford to lose.

4 Final Four prospects Cavaliers should consider in the NBA Draft. 4 Final Four prospects Cavaliers should consider in the NBA Draft. dark. Next