The Magic are on the road in Toronto to take on the Raptors, the first night of a back-to-back. Orlando are looking for a bounce back win in this clash between rookies Jalen Suggs and Scottie Barnes on Game Day 6.
The tip time is shown on the Orlando Magic website as being 12:00 midnight here in the UK (7:00pm Eastern for our friends in Orlando).
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The Match Up For Game Day 6
Orlando took a hard fought loss last time out. Falling short in the final quarter in the Amway Center the Magic lost to the Charlotte Hornets by 120-111. For Orlando Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr again joined together to be a force in the front court. Carter recorded a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Bamba also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Cole Anthony was strong, leading the team with 24 points. Franz Wagner finished with 15 points. He has now scored in double figures in every game this season. He is shooting a field goal percentage just shy of 52% and almost 42% from beyond the arc. Add in his defensive play and it is easy to see how Franz is rapidly becoming a fan favourite.
Toronto also played last on Wednesday night, taking a second victory of the season. The Raptors took down the Indiana Pacers 100-118, controlling the game throughout in front of the Toronto crowd. Fred VanVleet led the team with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, along with 6 assists and a steal. All five starters scored double figures, and weighed in with impressive numbers of assists and steals.
Orlando now have a 1-4 losing record to start the season and sit 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. Toronto are 10th in the East with a 2-3 losing record.
Orlando are scoring an average of 100.2 points per game, Toronto 103.8. Unfortunately so far this season the Magic’s have found stopping teams scoring very difficult, conceding an average of 115 points per game. The Raptors have kept teams to a much lower total of only 99, the 4th best in the NBA. Whilst Orlando are still searching for rhythm and a clear style of play Toronto are well established in their hard nosed, patient attack the paint game. They will use the three but rate low for both total shots and percentage from deep.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: THE TORONTO RAPTORS
In the 92 regular season games played between the two teams history sees the Magic trailing by 39-53.
Our recent record is very poor against the Toronto Raptors. Include both regular season and playoff meetings the Raptors have won the last 11 meetings. The last time Orlando tasted victory over Toronto was in the 2019 playoffs. We all remember the DJ Augustin dagger as he scored 25 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the Magic’s 104–101 game one victory.
Orlando lost all three games last season. The first game of that series featured the final spat between Kyle Lowry and Aaron Gordon.
With Toronto winning the last 8 regular season games you have to go back to the 2018-19 season for the last Magic regular season win, on February 24th 2019. That series was split 2-2.
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
With the trade in the summer of Kyle Lowry Toronto are in a new era. That does not mean their style of play has changed under Head Coach Nick Nurse. They remain that same aggressive, hard fighting team.
In Fred VanVleet the Raptors had a ready made replacement for Lowry. VanVleet had been running the team for much of last season in Lowry’s injury absence.
The NBA Draft number 4 pick; Scottie Barnes has started his NBA career with aplomb, averaging 17 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists. His performance and fit to Toronto is justifying the choice to select him ahead of Jalen Suggs.
Injuries are affecting the Raptors lineup. All-Star starter Pascal Siakam (PF) is out with a shoulder injury. Reserve forward Yuta Watanabe is out with a calf injury.
It is expected that Coach Nurse will use the same starting lineup as in their previous game. Fred VanVleet (PG), Gary Trent Jr (SG), OG Anunoby (PF), Scottie Barnes (SF) and Precious Achiuwa (C) make a strong core.
From the bench will come Chris Boucher, Svi Mykhailiuk, Dalano Banton and former Magic man Khem Birch. Goran Dragic is also at the Raptors, but so far has not featured heavily.
The Orlando Magic Injury Report
At the time of writing ESPN show Orlando as still having significant absences.
Guard Mychal Mulder is not yet available to play with the team.
E’Twaun Moore remains out, diagnosed with a left sprained knee.
Chuma Okeke is also out with hip bruising. He has no firm timeline for a return.
Michael Carter-Williams is out after undergoing surgery to remove a bone fragment and repair his left ankle ligament.
Jonathan Isaac continues to be out as he rehabilitates from a left knee ACL injury that saw him miss all of last season.
Markelle Fultz is still out after last season’s left knee ACL tear and subsequent surgery. Video now shows him moving freely in non-contact practice on the court.
The Orlando Lineup
Coach Mosely rolled out the same starting 5, a constant unit for all 5 opening games. Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Franz Wagner (SF), Wendell Carter Jr (PF) and Mo Bamba (C) is the youngest starting unit to open a season in the NBA for over 50 years. It features a pair of rookies, a second year player and two entering their fourth NBA season.
From the bench came Terrence Ross, Robin Lopez, Ignas Brazdeikis, Moe Wagner, RJ Hampton and Gary Harris.
Check Out Other Orlando Magic U.K. Content
On each game day make sure to check Twitter and Facebook to play along with our Magic Moments competition. Simply comment with your prediction for each of five questions we will ask on that night’s game. At the end of the season we will send out a prize to whoever tops the league with the most correct predictions.
Be sure to subscribe to Orlando Magic U.K. YouTube channel for episodes of our podcast Penny For Your Thoughts.
Final Thoughts As The Magic Are On The Road In Toronto
One thing that I’m seeing on this match is that the result may come down how the Magic guard OG Anunoby. He was dominant against Indiana and if allowed will command the paint with his ability to both pass and score.
As the Magic are on the road in Toronto the crowd will be loud and partisan. Jalen Suggs will hear it for any mistake made and he will have to be able to focus on the job required of him. Though some are saying this is a battle between the 4 and 5 picks, in reality Scottie Barnes should spend more time up against Franz Wagner. Franz currently rates in the top 5 of rookies and this will be another test.
Orlando must find a way to look after the ball. As a team turnovers have featured heavily in all four defeats this season. In the win over New York the Magic had a total of only 13. Going into the final quarter against Charlotte with a lead Orlando had made only 11 in the game, unfortunately giving up another 8 in the quarter that by the close had sealed the loss.
Let’s Go Magic!