Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game 5 Preview and Pick

Orlando Magic +7.5 at Cleveland Cavaliers -7.5 O/U 190 8:30 PM ET Thursday May 28, 2009 on TNT

By Jason Green at Predictem.com

The Magic lead this best of 7 series 3-1.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are at home tonight, as they try to stave off elimination in tonight’s game taking on the Orlando Magic down 3-1 in this series. The Magic won game 4 in Orlando in OT and for the Cavs it was the same old song and dance, as LeBron James had another big game, but his supporting cast let him down. Mo Williams has struggled all series long and he did so again in game 4, as even though he did have 15 points he was only 5/15 from the floor and he was 0-3 from beyond the 3-point line.

The Cavs were the best team in the league because of their defense, but the Magic have shredded the Cavs’ D in this series and in game 4 they shot 50% from the field and they shot lights out from 3-pt land going 17/38 for a 3-pt FG% of 44.7%.

Dwight Howard played decent before overtime in game 4, but in the extra period he was the main difference in the Magic win scoring 10 points.

The Cavs have their backs up against the wall and history is not on their side, as in the 190 series’ that teams have taken a 3-1 lead 182 have gone onto to win. LeBron can’t do it all and if another player does not help him out in the scoring department tonight the Cavs can kiss their championship hopes goodbye.

Hoops bookies have the Cavs as 7.5-point favorites in this game with a total around 188. The Cavs are posted at -360 as major favorites and the Magic are posted at +280.

The Magic won game 4 on Tuesday night in Orlando 116-114 in OT. The high scorer for the Magic in that game was Dwight Howard going for 27 points on 10/16 shooting and he also grabbed 14 boards. For the game the Magic shot 40/80 for a FG% of 50%. LeBron was, once again, the high scorer for the Cavs in game 4 going for 44 points on 13/29 shooting. For the game the Cavs shot 39/87 from the floor for a FG% of 44.8%.

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.

Once again the Cavs could not figure out a way to keep the Magic from bombing away from downtown.

The Magic are winning this series not because of their stars, but because the supporting cast is helping out. In game 4 Rafer Alston played great going for 26 points on 10/17 shooting including going 6/12 from beyond the 3-pt line and reserve Mickael Pietrus scored 17 points.

It’s all about finding another scorer to help LeBron out and keeping the Magic from bombing away from downtown. It’s that easy for the Cavs, but they need to execute and get back to playing solid defense like they did in the regular season.

The Magic are using a great strategy, as the Magic are hitting from downtown when the Cavs concentrate on Howard and when they leave the lane to stop the jump shot Howard makes them pay inside. This strategy has worked all series and the Cavs need to find a way to stop it.

If you look at the box score for game 4 you would think the Cavs won the game, as they had more rebounds, more offensive rebounds, twice as many steals, and fewer turnovers.

After game 4’s loss LeBron James stated, “We’re breaking down in areas we haven’t broken down all year.” He is right and they need to fix what’s broken quick, as they are in a big hole in this series.

Jason’s Pick: I love the over in this spot.