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Cavs take 2-0 lead over Magic

Cavs Magic
Photo via Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Oh. – Well, the 2024 playoffs couldn’t have started any better for the Cavs. Taking a 2-0 lead to Orlando, the Cavs have completely dominated the Magic through the two games here in Cleveland. Tonight’s game, a 96-86 win for the Cavs, proves once again that the experience of this team is paying off.

The Cavs once again never trailed in this game and were only tied once. Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 23 points but most of his damage was done in a dominant first half. Mitchell had 19 and 7 boards while the Cavs opened up a first half lead of 17 points. The game was really put away at that moment. While the Cavs did let their foot off the gas late, they ultimately weren’t really challenged and pulled away.

Photo via Cavs

Jarrett Allen continues to completely dominate the game. 17 points and 20 rebounds as he completely took out the Magic front court. Coach JB Bickerstaff said “Were not here without his effort. There’s grabbing holding hitting, but somehow, someway he keeps coming away with the basketball.”

Allen said after the game, “I guess I’m just more comfortable. I’m more comfortable with how I approach the game, more comfortable with I guess my role and knowing what I have to do every single night. I just feel more stable and grounded.”

Allen has been a key the entire season. His impact has been felt. Besides the first five games he missed in the beginning of the season, Allen has been Mr. Reliable for the Cavs this year. Donovan Mitchell has “run out of ways to describe what he means to this team” same for Bickerstaff. Bickerstaff has said in the past, “I wake up happy because I know Jarrett Allen is on this team and I know what he will bring night in and night out.” This is the same guy who famously said the lights may have been too bright last year following the loss to the Knicks. This year though, he is proving to be different. “I know who I am as a person, but I know there is still a reputation for this team. And it hasn’t changed over two games. We want to change it, so we have to go out there and fight every single night.” 

Fight they have. The Cavs have held the Magic to under 90 points in the first two games of the series. Despite the physical play, the Cavs have been the ones taking the fight to the Magic. There are contributions from everyone. Yes, Mitchell and Allen are leading the way. But Darius Garland is playing well. Evan Mobley is swallowing shots and causing the Magic to think twice before coming into the paint. Max Strus still isn’t shooting the ball well but again rebounding.

The Cavs are playing a team brand of basketball that resembles a team that can compete with anyone in the league. They have been overly concerned with physical play and it has shown. Yes, it’s only been two games, and they have to now go to Orlando. But this is the best the team has looked in a while. If they can continue this level of play… We may not see them in the first round in Cleveland again.


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