Cavs to Open Playoffs vs. Magic; Game 1 in Cleveland ‘Probably’ On Saturday

Well, at least the Cavaliers aren’t playing the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA playoffs. Instead, they will face off with the Orlando Magic, with Game 1 in Cleveland on Saturday or Sunday.Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

“Probably Saturday,” guard Max Strus predicted, via Chris Fedor of

Either way, for the second straight season, the Cavs (48-34) finished fourth in the Eastern Conference and second to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Central Division. That became official courtesy of a 120-110 home loss to the lowly Hornets on Sunday, a game in which starters Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland did not play.

Charlotte (21-61) only won 21 games, but two came against the Cavs. They also gave the Cavs fits in Cleveland back on March 25. But guess what? That’s all ancient history. The real thing starts now.

“First tomorrow, it’s just to settle down,” center Jarrett Allen told reporters. “We did play 82 games, it’s been a long season. So just rest our minds, rest our bodies tomorrow, and then when the time comes for us to practice, we need to lock in, watch our film, do everything to prepare for the playoffs.”

The Magic (47-35) are an upcoming team that’s much like the Cavs were last season. That is to say, many of their best players will be playoff rookies.

“They’re a young team and gonna be fighting for a lot,” Allen said. “I think we have to go in with the mentality that we have to throw the first punch.”

He added that the Cavs need to get back to the way “we were playing earlier this season when we were blowing teams out.”

If nothing else, the Cavs have home-court advantage, and as we all know, they will be favored. But during the regular season, we saw almost two different teams — one that won 17 of 18 to kick off 2024, and another that’s been fairly uneven since the NBA All-Star break in February. 

There are no excuses now. It’s time for the real deal.

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