Already Playoff Ready

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers both know they'll be in the Eastern Conference playoffs, seem secure with their current seed, and figure to have home-court advantage in the first round.

With the regular season winding down, they're starting to look like they don't have much left to play for.

The Magic and Cavaliers will each look to avoid their fifth loss in seven games when they meet Saturday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Cleveland -2point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 197.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 55% of bets for this game have been placed on Orlando +2 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Orlando (47-28) is essentially locked into the East's No. 3 seed, having wrapped up the Southeast Division earlier this week. With Detroit too far ahead to get the second spot and fourth-place Cleveland (42-34) trailing the Magic by 5 1/2 games, Stan Van Gundy's team realistically is just playing to stay sharp heading into the playoffs.

The Magic lost for the fourth time in six games on Tuesday, letting a nine-point halftime advantage against Western Conference-leading New Orleans slip away in a 98-97 defeat.

Orlando, which features the NBA's leading rebounder in Dwight Howard, was outrebounded 51-30 by the Hornets.

"They just really outworked us on the glass," Van Gundy said. "That kind of effort on the glass simply will not get it done."

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, lost three straight from March 22-29, but appeared to be on the way to their third win in a row on Thursday, leading Chicago by 17 points in the third quarter. But they scored just 13 in the fourth and lost 101-98.

LeBron James, who had 32 points in the first 36 minutes, had only one in the final 12.

"Being up 17 or being up one, you still have to execute," James said. "It's a little frustrating but at the same time you have to learn from it."

Cleveland is a few games ahead of three teams for the East's No. 4 seed.

Of greater concern than the loss to Chicago was the back spasms James suffered late in the game. He left the floor briefly in the fourth quarter to get treatment, and was wincing in pain during timeouts.

"It was tough to do some of the things that I wanted to do," he said. "Hopefully I can try and get it better and get it ready for Saturday."

James is nearly averaging a triple-double in three games against Orlando this season - 32.7 points, 10.0 assists and 9.7 rebounds - but the Cavaliers have lost two of three.

Back problems are nothing new to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed seven games at the beginning of March due to a strained back. But Cleveland's 7-foot-3 center is averaging 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in his last eight games.

Ilgauskas, however, has scored only nine points in his last two games against the Magic.

A lot of those struggles were due to the play of Howard, who is averaging 24.7 points and 12.7 rebounds against Cleveland.

"No matter when you play him, he is a handful," Ilgauskas said after Howard scored 23 points in Orlando's 104-90 win on March 17. "It is not a one-man job."

The Magic take more 3-pointers than any team in the East, and hit 14 in that win - including three apiece from Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu.

Lewis is shooting 55.2 percent from beyond the arc in his last five games, and Turkoglu 58.1 percent in his last seven.

Orlando has won five of seven in the series, including its last two in Cleveland.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics improving Finals odds The Boston Celtics are showing signs that they want to be in the hunt to win the NBA Finals next season. Do oddsmakers feel the Celtics are...
Thumbnail Warriors re-sign Curry, Iguodala The Golden State Warriors are committed to keeping their championship team together. The team re-signed a number of players last week to improve their odds to...
Thumbnail Paul George joins the Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunderwon the Paul Georgesweepstakes last week. How has this impacted the team’s ability to win the NBA...
Thumbnail Rockets improve Finals odds After making a big splash this week, are the Houston Rockets making a push to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?

NBA Headlines

  • WASHINGTON (AP) A person familiar with the deal says that All-Star point guard John Wall has agreed to a $170 million, four-year contract extension with the Washington Wizards that will start with...
  • SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A person with knowledge of the situation says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements with Justin Zanik and David Morway to join the front office.
    Zanik returns to the Jazz ...
  • CLEVELAND (AP) A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Cavaliers are promoting assistant general manager Koby Altman to be their full-time GM.
    Altman has been serving as the cl...
  • A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Pau Gasol has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
    The 7-foot Spaniard and the Spurs ca...
  • MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month's NBA draft.
    Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
    Brooks was ...

NBA Team Pages