OMD Roundtable: Key to the Orlando Magic's series with the Cleveland Cavaliers and staff picks

The Orlando Magic take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the Playoffs in what everyone expects to be a competitive and physical series. We discuss the keys to the series and make staff predictions.
Jalen Suggs and the Orlando Magic have reached the Playoffs and have their chance to win their first-round series.
Jalen Suggs and the Orlando Magic have reached the Playoffs and have their chance to win their first-round series. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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OMD Roundtable: Keys to the Series & Staff Predictions

Omar Cabrera: 3-Point Shooting

The biggest key against the Cleveland Cavaliers is the shooting during the series.

On the defensive end, it will be holding their shooters in check. The Orlando Magic have to be able to protect the paint and not have their defense run thin. The Magic have to trust their best defenders in Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Isaac and Gary Harris on the perimeter to hold Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland the best they can.

The Cavaliers built early leads in their two wins over the Magic thanks to some hot 3-point shooting. And the start of games is going to be a big factor in this series -- Orlando has lost 11 of its last 13 first quarters and many of the team's worst losses, including to Cleveland, came because Orlando fell behind quickly.

In all, the Cavaliers shot 14 for 34 and 20 for 38 in their two wins over the Magic from deep and they shot 9 for 40 and 10 for 22 in the two losses. That should give a pretty clear picture of what is going to be important in this series.

Although neither of those players are LeBron James, the thought process should be the same Orlando ran in 2009.

On the offensive end, the Magic have to be able to shoot from the perimeter.

The Magic have good shooters in Gary Harris, Joe Ingles, Wendell Carter and Jalen Suggs to name a few. But the Cavs will likely start the series happy to let the Magic shoot and congesting the paint. The Magic have to make them pay to spread the floor and have access to the paint.

The Magic, for their part, had their worst shooting performance from deep (and that is saying something) in their first meeting in Cleveland, going 2 for 23 in the game. The Magic went 11 for 29 in the other defeat. Orlando was 7 for 26 and 14 for 25(!) in the two wins.

If the Magic can do these things I believe the series will go 7 games and trust the Magic defense when it matters most.

Omar Cabrera: Magic in 7