College of Sports Media Game of the Night:
It’s a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals in the Association as the Orlando Magic make the trip to the ‘mistake by the lake’ to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Orlando won the battle last season in six games, but that was then this is now. Cleveland is the hottest team in the NBA. They’re won 12 straight and have the best record in the league. To make matters worse for Orlando, Cleveland has been near unbeatable at home. In 26 games they’ve only lost three times. LeBron James is by far the sheriff of the Cavs, but unlike last season he’s got himself a big deputy to watch his back. Over the off season Cleveland landed the Big Aristotle, Shaquille O’Neal, in a trade with the Phoenix Suns – giving them an inside presence that can handle the wide frame of Orlando’s Dwight Howard. It’s also safe to say O’Neal isn’t a big Howard fan. Shaq was the original Superman of the NBA – a title which Howard has slowly taking over. On top of that Howard’s play over the last couple of seasons has made it easy for Magic fans to forget that O’Neal was once their big man. Although the Magic aren’t pushing for the bakers dozen in straight wins, they have been pretty good. Over their last ten games they are 8-2 and are coming off a 107-87 win in Chicago last night. Over the off season Orlando added a gunslinger to it’s line up – bringing in Vince Carter and his career 23.1 points per game. Carter has been hot and cold so far this season, but two nights ago versus New Orleans he unholstered his weapon – scoring 48 points (34 in the second half) in a 123-117 Magic win. These two teams battle back in November and it was the Cavs who picked up the road win. Tonight Orlando hopes it can return the favour.