Magic

First Round Preview: Magic vs. Raptors

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The second seed Toronto Raptors (58-24) are set to face the seventh seed Orlando Magic (42-40) in a surprisingly intriguing first-round matchup. Game One tips off on Saturday, April 13 at 5 pm Eastern at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Injury Reports

Toronto Raptors:

OUT – G Patrick McCaw (sprained thumb)

OUT – F OG Anunoby (appendectomy)

Orlando Magic:

OUT – Mo Bamba (quad contusion)

OUT – Troy Caupain (coach’s decision)

OUT – Amile Jefferson (coach’s decision)

OUT – Markelle Fultz (thoracic outlet syndrome)

OUT – Timofey Mozgov (knee surgery)

Series Notes

The Raptors and the Magic split the four-game season series this season, with each team winning one road and one home game. In the teams’ most recent meeting, the Raptors defeated the Magic 121-109 in Toronto behind a stellar outing from Danny Green. Evan Fournier led the Magic in scoring with 21 points. Historically, these teams have only met once before in the playoffs. Last time, in 2008, the Magic won the series in five games.

A vital storyline that broke over the last couple of days was that of OG Anunoby and an unexpected medical emergency that will sideline him for a good chunk of the playoffs if the Raptors advance. Anunoby reportedly underwent an emergency appendectomy on Thursday after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis. This is certainly a disappointing revelation for a young player like OG, who has shown to be a valuable rotation piece.

Another questionable side note is that of Kyle Lowry‘s postseason history. Which version of Kyle will Toronto get this year? This question is one that is being asked by Raptors fans and NBA fans alike. It will be vitally important that the five-time NBA All-Star guard plays like one. If he is on his game, it will be difficult for the young Magic to slow down this experienced Raptors team. Consistency will be key for Toronto.

Improving Magic

On the other side of the coin, the Orlando Magic propelled themselves into the playoff race with a very strong stretch of wins late in the season. They finished the year with 17 more wins than last season, including nine straight home wins down the stretch. This explosion also gave them their first winning record since the 2011-12 season. The Magic, in addition, posted the league’s best defensive rating after January 30th. The Magic clinched a playoff berth after a win in Boston over the Celtics on April 7th as Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, and Evan Fournier all scored 20+ points.

Second-year F Jonathan Isaac has had somewhat of a breakout year. He averages close to ten points and six rebounds in almost 27 minutes per game while shooting 43% from the floor. Because OG Anunoby isn’t on the floor for the series, Orlando will most likely try to play more around their second year forward. This strategy gives him an opportunity to showcase his athleticism over guys like Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam, which is no small task. Starting PG DJ Augustin is also having a career year. He has played well beyond what was expected of him at the beginning of the season. All in all, the Magic have a much better shot at winning this series than the NBA world wants to give them credit for.

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