Game 2 Preview: Raptors vs Magic
Orlando Magic (1-0) @ Toronto Raptors (0-1)
When: Tuesday, April 16th, 8 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, OG Anunoby (appendectomy) is listed as out. Patrick McCaw (sprained right thumb) is listed as questionable. For the Magic, Mo Bamba (stress fracture, left tibia), Troy Caupain (coach’s decision), Amile Jefferson (coach’s decision), Markelle Fultz (thoracic outlet syndrome), and Timofey Mozgov (right knee surgery) are all listed as out.
- Home court: The Raptors dropped a 104-101 decision to the Magic in Game 1 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday. Though the loss meant the Raptors fell to 1-6 in Game 1 of a first-round playoff series at home, the team also holds a 5-1 record in Game 2 in these situations. After Tuesday’s game, the best-of-seven series will shift to Orlando for games 3 and 4.
- Recent history: Orlando earned a 104-101 Game 1 victory behind a 25-point performance from D.J. Augustin, including a tie-breaking three-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining. Kawhi Leonard had the final shot attempt for the Raptors, but failed to connect on a three-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining. The Raptors led by five after the opening quarter, but got outscored 33-19 in the second as the Magic took an eight-point lead into the halftime break. Things flipped in the third when Toronto stepped up its defence and held the Magic to just 28 percent shooting in the quarter and regained the lead to take a one-point advantage into the fourth where Augustin’s three-pointer would end up deciding things. The Magic had seven players in double figures in the win. Leonard scored 25 points to lead the Raptors in the loss.
- Solid Spicy P: One positive for the Raptors in Game 1 was the play of Pascal Siakam who set playoff career-highs in points (24), rebounds (nine) and minutes (42). Siakam shot 12-for-24 and added four assists, a steal and two blocked shots during his time on the floor. For Game 2, he hopes to remain aggressive, but also to not rush. “I think I rush a little bit, every time we play them,” Siakam said on Monday. “I think I’m just trying to kind of learn and see different things. There’s still things, I feel like I can definitely attack better and just be more patient and understand what they’re doing.”
- Leonard leading the way: Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 25 points in his first postseason game since May 14, 2017 when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs and facing the Golden State Warriors. Leonard’s 25 points came on 10-of-18 field goals, including 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. He added six rebounds and three assists in his 33 minutes. Leonard has scored at least 20 points in nine of his last 10 playoff games, dating back to Apr. 22, 2017. “I think we did a good job with the game plan as far as most of the players on their team,” Leonard said. “We let D.J. get away from us a little bit. I think it’s just … making some minor adjustments, playing a little bit harder and locking in on key situations and knowing what we’re going to do.”
- Narrow margins: In a three-point Game 1 loss, the Magic held a slight edge in a variety of categories. While the Raptors held the Magic to just 40 percent shooting from the floor (while shooting 46 percent themselves), the Magic shot 48 percent from three, making 14-of-29 attempts, including D.J. Augustin’s three-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining to win the game. In comparison, Toronto shot 33 percent, connecting on 12-of-36 attempts from deep. Orlando also held a 10-6 advantage on the offensive glass. The Magic took 20 trips to the free-throw line, taking care of business by making 19 of their attempts to shoot 90 percent from the line while the Raptors attempted just 14 free-throws and connected on only nine (64 percent). In a game that was decided by one team making a three-pointer in the final seconds and the other team missing one, little things can mean everything. Heading into Game 2, Fred VanVleet talked about the importance of eliminating defensive lapses and putting together a full 48-minute effort. “Less mistakes and just be more disciplined,” VanVleet said. “We still had a chance to win. As bad as it felt, as bad as it looked, as bad as we played, we still had a chance to win there at the end.”