Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers (May 5, 2024): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers have gone the distance and will play a decisive Game 7 to advance to the second round of the Playoffs.
The Orlando Magic forced their way to a Game 7 and now they have the opportunity to punch their ticket to the second round.
The Orlando Magic forced their way to a Game 7 and now they have the opportunity to punch their ticket to the second round. / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

ABC. Magic Cavs Game 7 05.05.24. 3-3. 156. 1P. 38. Cavs by 3 (O/U 194). 3-3. May 5, 2024

Tickets: $47-$1,449 on StubHub
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 - Cavaliers 104, Magic 103 in Cleveland; Game 6 - Magic 103, Cavaliers 96 in Orlando; Game 7 - Today in Cleveland
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 3-3


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OMD Prediction

Our Record: 57-31/43-45 ATS (4-2/3-3 ATS in Playoffs)

Well, what is there left to say?

In Game 7, the battle lines of a series are pretty clearly drawn. Both teams know each other well. They know what they are going to do and the counters they will make. It comes down a lot of times to simple execution and shot-making.

That is frankly what has decided the last two games.

The Cleveland Cavaliers went to a smaller lineup and spaced the floor to find some cracks in the Orlando Magic's defense without Jarrett Allen. But they still needed late-game shotmaking to pull away for the win in Game 5.

The Magic countered by going bigger in Game 6 and deploying the full might of their big lineups to middling effect, but they still found a way to scrap and make shots and plays down the stretch to win.

And so here we are in Game 7. The game will most likely play out exactly as Games 5 and 6 have. The two teams will have little to separate them and it will come down to who makes the shots and the plays down the stretch.

Your guess as to what will happen is as good as mine, granted the Magic have struggled on the road and specifically in that building. But this team has grown up a lot in just the last two games — let alone the last six. I am not going to be the one to bet against them.

Magic Cavs Game 7 Prediction 05.05.24. 102. 156. Prediction. 106. 38

3 Keys to Watch

The Shooting Difference

In a Game 7 that is likely going to come down to shotmaking, particularly in the clutch, the Orlando Magic are going to have to figure out a way to make shots in Cleveland.

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse has been a house of horrors for the Magic's shooters this season. That starts with the 2-for-23 showing in the matchup in December to open the season series to going 17 for 72 in Games 1 and 2.

Orlando hit on only 9 of 31 3-pointers in Game 5. The Magic have yet to shoot better than 30 percent from three in any of the three games so far in this series in Cleveland. They are 36 for 99 (36.4 percent) from three in their last three wins (also the only three games the team has hit more than 10 threes as a team).

Jalen Suggs is a perfect example of this split. Suggs is shooting 11 for 23 from three inside the Kia Center. He is hitting just 11 of 35 on the road. That suggests both a struggle to get to the basket and be in the paint, but also how cold the Magic have gone from deep.

The Magic are going to need to find some shooting.

Help for Donovan Mitchell

The whole series, the Orlando Magic have not conceded anything to Donovan Mitchell. But they have sort of accepted that Mitchell is not the one who will hurt the team. They had to slow everyone else down.

That was the lesson from Game 6 where Mitchell scored 50 points including 18 in the fourth quarter. Of course, nobody else scored in the fourth quarter. Darius Garland went completely quiet after a strong start to the game — that included a late eight-second violation for one of the most confusing turnovers of the Cavs' fourth-quarter collapse.

The plain message for Game 7: Mitchell will be a star, but he is going to need help.

Garland is the one who will likely have to provide it. He scored 14, 15 and 23 points in the Cavs' two wins. If there is bad news for the Magic, he has back-to-back 20-point games in the last two outings. orlando has to control him.

And if Jarrett Allen is playing, that might compress the space for the guards to drive but it gives Cleveland a better advantage on the glass and another player who can clean up and score around the basket. The Cavs have missed him these last two games with Evan Mobley playing so inconsistently.

A Star Is Born

Game 7 situations ask a lot of everyone. But this will be a game that will ask a lot of the Orlando Magic's star players. It will ask Paolo Banchero to be a dominant force once again and come up with another huge scoring game.

Banchero has been more than up for the challenge. He said he has enjoyed the Playoff experience and the pace of play that the Playoffs are played at. He has stepped up his scoring with two 30-point games and 25.2 points per game.

Game 7s with everything on the line is where legends are made though. Banchero is already putting together quite a playoff resume — if anyone cares to look — with several big shots even as he struggles with some of his youthful indecisions — his turnovers are a big factor and he will have to reduce his mistakes in this game where every possession is going to matter.

Next. 4 players stepped up game 6 05.05.24. 4 players who stepped up to save Orlando Magic's season. dark

The Magic are going to lean on Paolo Banchero -- and Franz Wagner (21.0 points per game and a 51.7 percent effective field goal percentage) -- to step up and perform on the biggest stage they have been on.

Game on.