Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers (April 30, 2024): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers battle to break their 2-2 series tie as they travel to Cleveland for a critical Game 5 in this best-of-seven series. Someone is on the verge of advancing after tonight.
The Orlando Magic head to Cleveland to try and take the lead in their series with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Orlando Magic head to Cleveland to try and take the lead in their series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

NBATV, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Ohio. April 30, 2024. 2-2. 156. 8P. 2-2. 38. Magic Cavs Game 5 Matchup 04.30.24. Cavs by 5 (O/U 202)

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Playoff Series:
Game 1 - Cavaliers 97, Magic 83 in Cleveland; Game 2 - Cavaliers 96, Magic 86 in Cleveland; Game 3 - Magic 121, Cavaliers 83 in Orlando; Game 4 - Magic 112, Cavaliers 89 in Orlando; Game 5 - April 30 in Cleveland; Game 6 - May 3 in Orlando
Season Series: Cavaliers 121, Magic 111 in Cleveland on Dec. 7; Magic 104, Cavaliers 94 in Orlando on Dec. 11; Cavaliers 126, Magic 99 in Orlando on Jan. 22; Magic 116, Cavaliers 109 in Cleveland on Feb. 22

Series Tied 2-2


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OMD Prediction

Our Record: 56-30/42-44 ATS (3-1/2-2 ATS in Playoffs)

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers have each said the same thing after their pair of losses: The home team held serve. The series has not really begun.

Of course, the series has begun. The Magic responded to their two defeats on the road with a rollicking effort to blow out the Cavs twice at the Kia Center. They feel like they have the momentum at least as they head back on the road for a critical Game 5.

This will be an all-new kind of pressure for this young team with control of the series and their first time facing elimination on the horizon.

The Magic have answered the bell. But they still have to prove they can win on the road. The Cavs have to answer now and they could easily come out with the same fire, energy and intensity the Magic brought at home.

Still, despite Orlando's poor shooting in Games 1 and 2, the team was never out of the fight. The Magic still defended at a high level, minus first quarter spurts that put them in the hole.

This game is going to be the ultimate test for both teams as they jockey for control of the series.

38. Magic Cavs Game 5 Prediction 04.30.24. 98. 156. Prediction. 101

3 Keys to Watch

How you start matters

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers' now six matchups have all come down to who starts off the best.

The Magic found themselves trailing by double digits and giving up 30-point quarters in Games 1 and 2. They outscored the Cavs 31-21 in Game 3 to take control of the game early. Game 4 is the only competitive first quarter in the series.

But that tone -- a physical tone -- matters in this series. The team that punches first has typically been the one to win. For Orlando on the road, starting off with a good start and starting off in the lead is going to be vital for the team.

For the series, the Cavs still have a +10.1 net rating (108.1/98.0 offensive/defensive rating) in the first quarter. This is still an area the Magic have to be better at. Cleveland was one of the best first quarter teams in the league.

To quiet the crowd and stay in the game, the Magic need to be ready for an onslaught in the first quarter and weather that storm to make everyone feel a bit nervous.

Disappearing Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell was steadfast in his statements after Game 4. He has to be better. The Cleveland Cavaliers brought him in to lead the team in the Playoffs and he was not living up to that standard. Credit to Mitchell for taking on the responsibility and at least verbally stating his struggles.

Mitchell is still a big factor in this series, even with how well the Orlando Magic have defended him.

Mitchell dominated the first half of Game 4 scoring 18 points and getting wherever he wanted on the floor. The Magic struggled to contain him. They clearly adjusted, holding him scoreless in the second half and holding him to just four shots.

In the series, Mitchell is averaging 21.0 points per game and 5.0 assists per game. In two games at Cleveland, he averaged 26.5 points per game and 46.5 percent shooting. But in the second half of all four games, Mitchell is at just 6.0 points per game, 34.5 percent shooting and 0.5 assists per game.

Orlando has found some ways to slow Mitchell down. Doing that again will be the biggest key in Game 5.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers

To hear coach Jamahl Mosley tell it, the key for the Orlando Magic will be in the details and the little things. It is about stopping a run in the second quarter from happening or finishing possessions with a rebound or not turning the ball over.

Especially on the road now, the Magic have to clean up these miscues. And no mistake may be bigger for the Magic right now than turnovers. That has been about the only way the Cleveland Cavaliers have been able to crack through the Orlando Magic's defense.

It is certainly a goal for both teams to control the tempo of the game and get into their offense before either team can set their defense.

For the series, the Magic are forcing more turnovers than the Cavs. The Magic are scoring 17.5 points off turnovers per game and the Cavs are at 14.5 per game. But in Games 1 and 2, the Cavs were even on this 16.5-16.5 per game.

That may not seem like a big difference. But in such a low-possession, defensive-minded game, those extra possessions matter. Especially for the Magic. Cleveland was able to take the lead in the first quarter in Game 4 because of eight first-quarter turnovers.

dark. Next. 4 takeaways from first 4 games 04.30.24. 4 biggest takeaways from Orlando Magic's first four Playoff games

Turnovers is something that can drag the Magic back to the pack, so to speak.