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Facts and Opinions: The Orlando Magic

Greetings, Cavs fans across the interwebs. In anticipation of tomorrow night's game against the Magic, I've composed an article comprised of two parts. The first is an objective preview of the game, while the second part is my humble opinion of the Magic in general. I have another one of these articles brewing for the upcoming Celtics game as well, so this probably won't be the last time you'll see an installment of Facts and Opinions!

FACTSBold

Tomorrow night, the Cleveland Cavaliers face off against the Orlando Magic for only the second time since they were embarrassed by the Magic in the Conference Finals last season. It's a contest against the two top teams in the East and could possibly be a preview for this season's Conference finals.

Of course, neither the Cavs nor the Magic are the same team they were when they faced each other in last year's Conference Finals. The Cavs now possess Shaquille O'Neal, who they hope will give the interior presence they need to stop Dwight Howard, arguably the league's best big man. The Magic, on the other hand, traded away part of the bevy of parameter shooters they used to sink the Cavs last season for Vince Carter, giving them a second scoring option to Howard. The first time the two teams met this season, Cleveland pounded away at the Magic's big men and came away with a 9 point victory. However, the Magic were without starting forward Rashard Lewis and his backup Ryan Anderson in last time's contest. While the Magic are still plagued with minor injuries, the Cavs will be without starting point guard Mo Williams and possibly his backup Delonte West. Still both teams have remarkably deep benches to turn to, which could turn into the deciding factor in tomorrow night's game.

However, there's more to stake in this game than just avenging a loss or sizing each other up for the postseason. Both teams have been mentioned in trade rumors across the league. The Cavs have, at various times, been attached to possible deals involving Amar'e Stoudemire, Antawn Jamison, and Troy Murphy. The Magic, meanwhile have been connected to a trade for the Chicago Bulls' J ohn Salmons and Tyrus Thomas. A resounding loss by either team could be enough to spur their GM's into action, setting off the trading spree that always comes this time of the season.

OPINIONS

For what it's worth, I hate the Orlando Magic. I hate them almost as much as I hate the Boston Fossils. Why? First, they possess two of my least favorite players in the league, Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick. I think that Dwight Howard is overrated as a basketball player, considering he shows deficiencies in some of the most rudimentary of basketball skills and tries to cover it up with his athleticism and over the top blocks. One of my colleagues once called him more of a freak of nature than a basketball player, which honestly describes both his strengths and weaknesses. J.J Redick, on the other hand, has simply annoyed me since his college days. The other reason is their coach, Stan Van Gundy. While he's a talented coach who coached the socks off Mike Brown last year, his voice is grating and makes every third quarter interview and “In the Huddle” session a bear to listen to. Plus, he reminds me of a porcupine.

Hopefully, the Cavs will crush the Magic tomorrow night if only for the reason that it'll make the Magic's GM panic and make another boneheaded trade like the one that cost them three of players that got them to the finals in exchange for a Vince Carter who's been getting regularly outplayed by Redick in the last few months (Monday's 47 point explosion aside). The Cavs will pull a victory off tomorrow night for two reasons: Our franchise player is better than theirs and our future hall of famer is better than theirs. So here's to (hopefully) winning our thirteenth in a row!

Christian Hoffer

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