Previewing the 4 known NBA playoff matchups, including the Nuggets 2nd rd opponents

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves
Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages
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4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs 5 Orlando Magic

This series will get all the NBAtv jokes, and well, it’s not a joke these games won’t exactly be highlighted by the league. And while these may be two smaller markets and teams that aren’t seen as real contenders, it should be a good matchup with plenty at stake.

The Cavs, in cowardly fashion, tanked their final game to avoid playing the 76ers or Heat in round one. They basically signaled they only care about winning one series, and now face a lot of pressure to beat the Magic or this may look disastrous for a team with questions about keeping its core together.

The Magic have had an amazing season and they’ve already met and exceeded expectations. They’re probably even a bit ahead of schedule in their building process, but this is a winnable series for them. They can out-tough the Cavs and make life hell for them with physicality, size, and length on defense.

Jalen Suggs will be hounding Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland all over the place, while Jonathan Isaac will be unleashed to wreak havoc on Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, or anyone else they deem fit. The Cavs have the personnel to overcome that in theory, but we saw them get bullied in the playoffs last year by a Knicks team that played a similar style.

Plus, the Cavs have not played inspiring basketball in almost two months now and Donovan Mitchell looks like a shell of himself. I’m not convinced this team can suddenly flip a switch and I think they may get embarrassed by a hungrier and more aggressive Magic team here.

The pick: Magic in 7