On Game Day 78 the Magic are back home as Toronto visit the Amway Center. As the season winds down the future is the focus for Orlando. This is also the opening night of a three game home stand for the Magic.
The tip time from O-Town is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12 midnight here in the U.K. (7pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando). To watch the game live or on demand you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.
So, let’s get to it!
Season Record And Last Time Out
The Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic, despite leading by as many as 12 in the first half, fell 127-110 to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night in Capital One Arena. The Magic again played the reserves through much of the fourth quarter.
The Magic were led by Franz Wagner who posted 28 points. Markelle Fultz filled the stat sheet with a season-high 19 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks Cole Anthony had 12 points and Mo Bamba scored 10. Ignas Brazdeikis produced 10 points.
After tonight the Magic have just 4 games remaining. Orlando’s record for the season is a dismal 20 wins and 57 losses. The Magic remain last in the Eastern Conference, the record now tied with only the Houston Rockets. Over the last 10 games played the Magic have won 3, having lost 4 games consecutively. The home record stands at 10 wins of 37 games played. On the road the record is 10 wins in 40 games played. Points per game sees the Magic scoring 104.2, whilst conceding 112.1.
The Toronto Raptors
Toronto erased a 10-point deficit with a 42 point second quarter on Wednesday night at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, winning by 102-125. All five starters scored in double digits. Gary Trent Jr led the team with 29 points. Pascal Siakam had a triple-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. OG Anunoby added 22, rookie Scottie Barnes 17 points, whilst Fred VanVleet notched 12. Two players from the bench recorded double digit scoring as well being Precious Achiuwa (13 points) and Thaddeus Young (10 points).
Toronto now hold a record of 44 wins and 32 losses, seeing the Raptors 6th in the Eastern Conference. They have played a game less and are two wins ahead of Cleveland in 7th place. A win tonight for the Raptors would also see their record tied with Chicago in 5th. Of the last 10 games played Toronto have won 8, including the last 4 straight. The road record stands at 23 wins of 39 games played. In points per game the Raptors score 109.4 whilst conceding 107.1.
Head-To-Head: The Toronto Raptors
In the 94 regular season games played between the two teams history sees the Magic trailing by 40-54.
This will be the final of three meetings this season between the teams. The first was won by Toronto in a heartbreaker by 109-110. The Raptors got strong performances from Scottie Barnes (21 points), Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr (with 19 points each). For Orlando Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs led the scoring, whilst Wendell Carter Jr and Mo Bamba both registered double-doubles. The second in Toronto was a 103-97 team victory for the Magic. Cole Anthony led with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, that he supplemented with 5 assists. Jalen Suggs also had 15 points as he filled up the boxscore. Five other Magic players had double figures.
Our recent record is very poor against the Raptors. The win in Toronto on March 4th broke a 12 game winning streak for the Raptors over Orlando if include both regular season and playoff meetings. The last time Orlando had taken a victory over Toronto before that was in the 2019 playoffs, from the DJ Augustin 3-point dagger in the Magic’s 104–101 game one victory.
In the playoffs the record for games is even at 5 and 5, being tied 1-1 for series victories. Orlando won the 2008 Eastern Conference First Round 4-1. Toronto took the corresponding round in 2019, also by 4-1.
Our Opponents – The Toronto Raptors
Head coach Nick Nurse has his team playing highly competitive basketball. In Fred VanVleet the Raptors had a ready made replacement for Kyle Lowry. Number 4 pick; Scottie Barnes continues his NBA career superbly, his fit to the team justifying the choice to select him ahead of our own Jalen Suggs.
Injuries are no longer affecting the Raptors. Malachi Flynn is out and Yuta Watanabe is day-to-day.
Last Starting Unit: Fred VanVleet (PG), Gary Trent Jr (SG), Pascal Siakam (PF), Scottie Barnes (SF), OG Anunoby (C)
Bench Unit: Precious Achiuwa, Khem Birch, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young, Armoni Brooks, Svi Mykhailiuk, Yuta Watanabe, Dalano Banton, Isaac Bongo (DNP), Justin Champagne (DNP), David Johnson (DNP).
The Orlando Magic Lineup And Injury Report
There could be a welcome return for guard Devin Cannady who has been signed on Thursday (March 31sr) to a 10-day contract. Last season Cannady signed to the Magic on April 6th. He played in three games averaging 4.7 ppg. Sadly, just as he was having impact Devin suffered an open fracture to the right ankle against Indiana, being waived on May 4. He will replace Jeff Dowtin in the squad who has come to the end of his 10 Day Contract.
Final Thoughts – The Magic Are Back Home As Toronto Visit
Let us be honest here, each of us is ready to see the back of this season! The rotations whilst understandable are at times frustrating to watch. Many of us are ready to take the losses, find out our lottery odds and focus on what next season holds.
The record we hold sees us holding one of the three best odds for landing the top pick in the Draft. Through the tie-break system the Magic are currently the team with the worst record so could not drop below the 5th pick. There is time for that to change.
Toronto will be going all out to win this game. Their aim could be to do it early, allowing their stars to sit. The Raptors will look to score from inside the arc. They drive to the basket, shoot the jumper and are ranked 2nd for offensive rebounds, thus taking a large amount of second chance points. Toronto do not turn the ball over and have an ability to turn defence into attack, ranking second in steals. It is without question that the Toronto defence will be hard-nosed and pushing the bounds of legality.
The Magic are back home as Toronto visit the Amway Center, it will be another slug-fest with both teams defence being their backbone.