Orlando Magic vs Toronto Raptors (Game 1): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Saturday, April 13th at 5:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

Orlando Magic (Away)

Head Coach: Steve Clifford {All-Time 238-254 | CHA, ORL}

Season Record: 42-40

Projected Starting Five: (G) DJ Augustin – (G) Evan Fournier – (F) Jonathan Isaac – (F) Aaron Gordon – (C) Nikola Vucevic

Top Performers:

  • (C) Nikola Vucevic – 20.8 PPG | 12.0 RPG | .518 FG%
  • (F) Aaron Gordon – 16.0 PPG | 7.4 RPG | .507 eFG%
  • (G-F) Terrence Ross – 15.1 PPG | 3.6 APG | .340 3P%

To say the Orlando Magic finished the season strong is an understatement. Entering the All-Star Break, the Magic were 27-33. They closed the season on a 15-8 run, which helped them capture the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Magic were not only a model of consistency but a model of health going into the post-season. Save for some lasting injuries, the Magic have all their key pieces going forward. They finished the season 8-2 in their last ten games.

The Orlando Magic face a Toronto Raptors team that maintains a journey they aspire to recreate. The Magic are a young and pacey team that will contrast the deliberate experience of the Toronto Raptors’ roster. That contrast in style could work for the Magic, or hurt them entirely.

Toronto Raptors (Home)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 58-24 | TOR}

Season Record: 58-24

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyle Lowry – (G) Danny Green – (F) Kawhi Leonard – (F) Pascal Siakam – (C) Marc Gasol

Top Performers:

  • (F) Kawhi Leonard – 26.7 PPG | 7.3 RPG | 1.8 SPG
  • (F) Pascal Siakam – 17.0 PPG | 6.9 RPG | .368 3P%
  • (G) Kyle Lowry – 14.2 PPG | 8.7 APG | 1.4 SPG

For another year the Toronto Raptors finished near the top of the Eastern Conference. Though not crowned the conference champions, the Raptors certainly own the ability to be considered in that class.

The Toronto Raptors closed out the season on a 7-3 run in their last ten games. While they did not face particularly difficult competition, the balance of health and practice was more valuable to them than their win record.

Throughout the season the Toronto Raptors tended to struggle with the Orlando Magic. Their length and youthful energy seemingly stifled the Raptors in matches where they struggled, while wins came through grinding efforts. This is a more competitive series than many think.

What’s At Stake?

The Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic have a deep competitive series. In 85 regular season games, the Raptors lead the Magic 46-39.

These two teams have also met in the playoffs once before, during the eras of Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard in 2008. The Magic won their only previous series against the Raptors 4-1.

Both teams look to take the first game of the series and set their opponents back.

What Does Marc Gasol Provide?

The Toronto Raptors made a big splash during the NBA trade deadline when they sent three team mainstays (Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles) to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for All-Star Center Marc Gasol.

By this point in his career, everyone knows what Marc Gasol brings to the table. Spectacular defense, incredible playmaking from the low/high-post, and shooting from the pivot position. But how does that affect the Magic?

His impact was seen in Toronto’s last game against the Magic during the regular season. Where the Raptors usually struggled, Marc Gasol compensated by slowing All-Star Nikola Vucevic.

While Gasol had a quiet night on the stat sheet – 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists – he showed his value by limiting Vucevic to a 5-14 shooting night. Gasol’s defensive ability will be crucial in this series.

Can Vucevic Continue His Play?

Nikola Vucevic is having a career year in a contract season. He responded with his first ever All-Star berth and he led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2011.

He has generally dominated the Toronto Raptors this season, as Ibaka couldn’t keep up with his strength while Valanciunas was too slow-footed to keep up. He did, however, struggle against the savvy Marc Gasol, a matchup to watch.

The Raptors run a switch-heavy defense, so Vucevic was also largely a playmaker in his matches against Toronto. He was assisted on 69.7% of his field-goals while shooting 55% from the field.

When the game slows down, Vucevic will be the Magic’s primary option on offense. He will be forced to make shots on his own or make the right play for easy baskets. In his first-ever playoff series, the pressure is on.

The Toronto Raptors Bench Can Be the Difference

While not the “Bench Mob” of old, the Toronto Raptors own a deep and versatile reserve unit that can compete with most starting lineups. From point guard to center, the Toronto Raptors can cause trouble at every minute of the game.

Two key players for the Raptors going forward will be Serge Ibaka and Fred Vanvleet. Ibaka is the Toronto Raptors’ third-leading scorer with 15.0 PPG and has come off the bench in 23 games this season. The Raptors’ defense doesn’t drop off when he gets on the court, and his offensive versatility is of great value.

Fred Vanvleet will look to redeem himself after a poor showing in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. His value is understated on the stat sheet, but on the court, he is the driver of the bench units production. Shooting 37.8% from three, Vanvleet leads both the offense and defense of the second line.

The Magic Are Long

The physical profile of the Orlando Magic is frankly, impressive. While the extremities of their lineup – DJ Augustin, Nikola Vucevic – are mainstays, their defensive stars and role players display interesting value.

Aaron Gordon, Wes Iwundu, and Jonathan Isaac all have the defensive ability to give the Toronto Raptors problems. Their length gives them the ability to recover on defense and contest shots more efficiently.

That defensive ability was on display in all of their regular season meetings this year, as they limited the Raptors to less than 100 points in three of their four contests. It will surely come into play this series.

Orlando Magic Roster Notes

F Jonathan Isaac – 9 Apr 2019 – Out (Concussion) – Isaac is listed as OUT for Wednesday’s (Apr. 10) game.

C Mohamed Bamba – 21 Mar 2019 – Out (Left Tibia Fracture) – Bamba is still without a timetable for his return.

G Markelle Fultz – 21 Mar 2019 – Out (Shoulder/Wrist) – Fultz is making progress in his rehab, but still has no timetable for his return according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

C Timofey Mozgov – 21 Mar 2019 – Out (Knee) – Nearly three months removed from arthroscopic surgery on his knee, Mozgov is still without a timetable for return.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

G-F Patrick McCaw – 8 Apr 2019 – Out (Thumb) – McCaw has been ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Apr. 9) game.

X-Factors: Terrence Ross (ORL) vs Norman Powell (TOR)

Two players with histories intertwined, Terrence Ross and Norman Powell are the sparks that will drive their respective teams in this first game of the NBA Playoffs. Ross will be having a homecoming of sorts, while Norman Powell has been on fire to end the season.

Terrence Ross

Shooting Guard | 6-7, 206lb (201cm, 93kg) | Washington | Exp. 6 Years

15.1 PPG | 1.7 APG | 3.5 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.1 TOV | .428 FG% | .383 3P%

Terrence Ross will be playing in a very familiar home for at least two games this series. The four-year veteran of the Raptors will face his former team in new colors.

Ross has put in a spectacular season and is the driving force for the Magic off the bench. He will have a slight benefit in this series, as the sight-lines and the city are certainly familiar to him.

Norman Powell

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 215lb (193cm, 97kg) | UCLA | Exp. 3 Years

8.6 PPG | 1.5 APG | 2.3 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.1 TOV | .483 FG% | .400 3P%

To begin the season, it seemed to be another disappointing year coming for Norman Powell. Starting off well, but eventually getting injured and losing his rhythm, Powell found a way to storm back into the rotation after the All-Star Break.

Powell is now putting up the best numbers of his career and the pressure is certainly on him going forward. With a bench that can stagnate without three-point rhythm, Powell’s ability in transition and on the drive is incredibly valuable.

Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

If you reside in New Jersey you can bet on the NBA match between the Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors, here:

Sportsbook Orlando Magic Toronto Raptors Link
888Sport NJ +310 -400
BetStars NJ +310 -400

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