The Battle with Toronto continues tonight as the Magic welcome the Raptors into the Amway. An edge is present through the play of Kyle Lowry.
To watch the game live or on demand here in the UK you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
The tip time is shown on the NBA app and Orlando Magic website as being a 12 midnight here in the UK (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
THE MATCHUP AS THE BATTLE WITH TORONTO CONTINUES
The Raptors moved above Orlando on the back of Sunday night’s victory in Tampa and now sit 11th in the Eastern Conference. Five players reached double figure scoring as Toronto beat Orlando 102-115. Pascal Siakam was dominant for 30 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Lowry weighed in with 12 points and 15 assists.
Orlando again disappointed in this defeat. That loss has seen Orlando drop back to 12th in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors have won 2 of 9 games on the road this season. Orlando have won 4 of 10 in the Amway. Season records see Orlando at 8-18, whilst Toronto are 8-12. Across the last 10 games that each team has played the Raptors have a 6-4 record, whilst Orlando are worryingly sat at 2-8. Orlando have lost their last three games, Toronto their last 3.
Since Markelle Fultz got injured Orlando have been in freefall. 13 games played with only 2 victories. That is the worst record in the NBA for that stretch. Then there have been 7 games where Orlando failed to register 100 points. On only 3 occasions making it to in excess of 110 points scored.
OUR OPPONENTS – THE TORONTO RAPTORS
A Raptors team is never an easy task for the Magic to face. The Raptors come into the game as the NBA’s 16th ranked offensive team, scoring an average of 111.1 points per game. Toronto are ranked defensively at 14th, conceding an average of 110.7 points per game.
Offensively they do play at a fast pace, ranking 12th. Almost half of Toronto’s points per game come from beyond the arc. They shoot almost 44% from the field and nearly 38% with the 3 ball. Defensively they rate highly in blocks and steals per game. Toronto turn the ball over at a rate of almost 15 per game and commit on average more than 22 fouls per game.
Those fouls are often deliberate and see the opposition offensive rhythm broken.
THE TORONTO RAPTORS SQUAD
According to ESPN the Raptors have 3 absences for tonight. Norman Powell (14.3 PPG) is day-to-day with a quadricep injury and still thought doubtful. OG Anunoby (14.6 PPG) is out with a calf injury. Finally Patrick McCaw (0 PPG) is out with a knee injury and will not be available to make his season debut.
Last game Coach Nick Nurse started Pascal Siakam (19.6 PPG), Kyle Lowry (17.6 PPG), Fred Van Vleet (18.8 PPG), Aron Baynes (5.4 PPG) and Terence Davis (7.9 PPG).
From the bench came Yuta Watanabe (3.9 PPG), Stanley Johnson (3.1 PPG), DeAndre’ Bembry (2.6 PPG), Chris Boucher (13.3 PPG), Matt Thomas (3.5 PPG), Malachi Flynn (2.4 PPG) and Paul Watson (1.9 PPG).
THE HEAD-TO-HEAD: TORONTO RAPTORS
Our recent record is poor against the Toronto Raptors. We played the Raptors 3 times in the opening weeks of last season, losing all 3 games. The two road games were losses by 95-104 and 97-113. In the Amway Orlando fell again 90-83. The teams met for the final time last season in the NBA Bubble on August 5th, the Raptors again winning 109-99. That sealed a season 4-0 sweep for Toronto.
The 2018-19 season saw the regular season series was split 2 & 2 & but as we know in the playoffs we lost 1-4.
Including both regular season and playoff meetings the Raptors have won the last 9 meetings between us.
The all time head-to-head record in the 90 regular season games played sees the Magic trailing by 39-51. In the playoffs the record for games is even at 5 and 5, being tied 1-1 for series victories.
THE MAGIC INJURY REPORT
If you are a fan who is embracing the tank then the injury report is definitely favourable. The squad of 17 is now standing at 11 fit players and one possibly absent. According to ESPN:
Karim Mane (1.2 PPG) is no longer on the injury report. His availability is in question being on a two-way deal with the Lakeland Magic. The NBA G League season begins on February 10th in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World.
Chum Okeke (3 PPG) is no longer on the injury report, having recovered from a bone bruise in his left knee. He is expected to be available to return.
Michael Carter-Williams (5.1 PPG) is out again with a sore foot, having suffered a setback that saw him unable to practice.
Al-Farouq Aminu is still out after recovering from knee surgery. He has been involved in practices.
Markelle Fultz (12.9 PPG) has a torn left knee ACL, a season finishing injury. He is now in the lengthy process of rehab following successful surgery.
Jonathan Isaac is out indefinitely recovering from knee surgery.
And finally Aaron Gordon (13.8 PPG) will miss 4 to 6 weeks with a severe left ankle sprain, suffered in the defeat to Toronto on Sunday night.
THE MAGIC LINE-UP AS THE BATTLE WITH TORONTO CONTINUES
Coach Clifford has to change the starting unit with the loss of Aaron Gordon.
The recent core of Cole Anthony (10.8 PPG), Evan Fournier (17.3 PPG), James Ennis III (5.1 PPG) and Nikola Vucevic (22.6 PPG) will remain. Will Chuma Okeke (3 PPG) step into the starting 4 spot?
From the bench again came Terrence Ross (14.7 PPG), Khem Birch (7.1 PPG), Gary Clark (3.7 PPG), Dwayne Bacon (9.4 PPG), Jordan Bone (4.1 PPG) and Mo Bamba (5 PPG).
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDING – 12th
SEASON RECORD – 8-13
HOME RECORD – 4-6
ROAD RECORD – 4-7
RECORD LEADING AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER – 3-2
WHEN LEADING AT HALF TIME – 7-1
AND WHEN LEADING GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER – 5-1
NBA OFFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 27TH OF 30 (105.3)
NBA DEFENSIVE RANK AND RATING – 19TH OF 30 (111.8)
OPPONENTS POINTS PER GAME – 15TH OF 30 (111.1)
RECORD WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 100 POINTS – 1-8
WHEN SCORING MORE THAN 100 POINTS – 7-5
WHEN SCORING 110 POINTS OR MORE – 5-2
AND WHEN SCORING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 2-0
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 100 POINTS OR LESS – 3-1
WHEN CONCEDING 110 POINTS OR LESS – 6-2
AND WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR LESS – 8-7
RECORD WHEN CONCEDING 120 POINTS OR MORE – 1-6
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY – 20 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT – 42 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
HIGHEST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 130 – GAME DAY 2 VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LEAST POINTS SCORED THIS SEASON – 84 – GAME DAY 14 NEW YORK KNICKS
MOST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 132 – GAME DAY 9 HOUSTON ROCKETS
LEAST POINTS CONCEDED THIS SEASON – 83 – GAME DAY 7 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Check out our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts.
In the latest episode we are joined by special guest Perry Riggs (Audio Only), Orlando Magic Team/Floor Assistant and Magic fan to review last weeks games against the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings and LA Clippers. We preview the week’s fixtures with the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls. Perry also shares his experiences about working for the Orlando Magic, rebounding for players pregame, setting up the arena and being their to help Magic players during a game.
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KEYS TO THE GAME AS THE BATTLE WITH TORONTO CONTINUES
As the battle continues with Toronto it will be no easy task for Orlando. This Toronto squad with it’s absences had been struggling. There are clear signs that they adapting to those injuries and more importantly life away from Toronto.
They do not have the depth of previous recent seasons. Toronto are still underperforming on what was expected from them for the season. As we said last time do not be surprised to see them click into form.
Orlando are struggling on offence. Toronto had been but are starting to turn a corner. This could well be another ugly game to watch from a shooting perspective.
In Siakam, Lowry and VanVleet Toronto have quality that can put the team on their shoulders during struggles. Orlando will need to focus on their threat. We as Magic fans have too often witnessed what they can provide to Toronto.
On the subject of Kyle Lowry there has been a lot of debate between Orlando and Toronto fans since the playoffs of 2019.
He is without doubt a talented player who improves any team. He is a threat whenever he plays, good scoring abilities and excellent court vision. An adept defender, a tough competitor and willing to take a lot of contact for his team are things Toronto fans love him for.
On the negative side he is very proficient at the flop and exaggeration of contact. He is not alone in selling contact in modern sport. He is also considered by many NBA fans as a dirty player! In two recent meetings Lowry has been responsible for bloodying Michael Carter-Williams nose and taking Aaron Gordon out of the air injuring his hamstring. In the last game he got underneath a jumping Evan Fournier and “boxed out” Aaron Gordon with a hip check to Gordon’s knee, resulting in a hyperextension.
These tactics are not isolated to Orlando players and it does not take long to find multiple examples of similar plays online. They are always done in such a fashion that there is plausible deniability present. At best his tactics are at times reckless to the safety of opponents. At worst he could be accused of something no sportsperson should be doing, deliberately trying to injure a fellow professional.
We will leave you to decide where you stand on the subject.
LET’S GO MAGIC!