Cleveland Cavaliers +1 at Orlando Magic -1 O/U 188 8:30 PM ET Sunday May 26, 2009 on TNT
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
The Magic lead this best of 7 series 2-1.
Tonight the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Orlando Magic in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic won game 3 at home and one of the main reasons was the LeBron did not get much help on offense. Mo Williams has not played well in the series and he struggled, once again, in game 3, as he did have 15 points but he only shot 5/16 from the floor. LeBron had another big game, but he needs another player to step up if the Cavs are going to tie this series. The Cavs did play better D on Rashard Lewis and especially Hedo Turkoglu, but Rafer Alston and reserve Mickael Pietrus played well in game 3 combining for 34 points.
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The Cavs simply need to shoot the rock better tonight, as in game 3 they could not hit anything only shooting just over 37% from the floor. They were especially cold from downtown only shooting 5/26 from 3-point land for a paltry 3-pt FG% of 19.2%. The Cavs have to shoot better and have another player help King James out or they will be leaving the Sunshine State down 3-1 in this series.
The Magic are posted at -120 as home favorites in this game and the Cavaliers are posted at +100 as away dogs.
The Magic won game 3 at home on Sunday night 99-89 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The high scorer for the Magic in that game was Dwight Howard going for 24 points on 5/8 shooting. For the game the Magic shot 27/63 for a FG% of 42.9%. The high scorer for the Cavs in game 3 was James, shocker, going for 41 points on 11/28 shooting. For the game the Cavs only shot 29/78 from the floor for a FG% of 37.2%.
This season the Magic ranked 4th in scoring (101 ppg) and the Cavaliers ranked 13th (100.3 ppg). On D the Cavaliers were the best in the league ranking 1st in points allowed (91.3 ppg) and the Magic ranked 6th (94.4 ppg). The Cavaliers were a better team on the boards this year, as they had a rebounding differential of +3.3 rpg and the Magic were at +1.1 rpg.
This season the Magic were an NBA best 49-32-1 ATS and Cavs also solid at 48-33-1. In terms of Over/Under games this season the Magic were 41-40-1 and the Cavs were 37-44-1.
On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries.
Mo Williams was asked about he chances in the series and if he could guarantee a win and he said, “Guarantee we’re going to win the series? Yeah, yeah.” That will be a tall order since, so far in the series, they cannot contain Howard or the long-range bombers of the Magic and they have not helped James out on offense. They also missed a lot of easy shots in game 3, which they cannot do tonight.
LeBron is averaging 41.7 ppg in this series, but Williams is only shooting 32.1% for the series, which is the main reason they are down 2-1. Williams was picked up to help LeBron out on offense and he has not done so thus far.
The other Cavs besides King James cannot settle for jumpers, as they have to attack the rim tonight and not be afraid of the awaiting Howard. In game 3 the Cavs took 35 free throws, while the Magic took 51, and LeBron took 24 of them. Their open shots are not falling for the Cavs so they have to get easy points from the charity stripe.
After playing great in the first 2 games of the series Hedo Turkoglu struggled in game 3, as he was only 1/11 from the field. However, he was 11/12 from the charity stripe and the Cavs should take notice of that.
The Cavs have had almost no bench production in this series and that continued in game 3, as Cleveland reserves scored a total of 8 points.
The pressure is on the Cavs even though they are not at home, as if they lose this game it will be hard to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
Jason’s Pick: I think the Magic utilize their home court advantage to win tonight. This is a MUST win for them or they’re likely to lose the series.