Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic Preview
The NBA restart continues Wednesday night as the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic go head-to-head. The Matchup could be a preview of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs as the Raptors are currently the two seed in the East and the Magic are a half-a-game out of seventh.
Toronto has arguably been the most impressive team to this point during the restart as they have wins over the LA Lakers and Miami Heat. The Raptors are almost locked into the two seed as they trail the Bucks by five games for the top seed but lead the Celtics by 4.5 games for the two seed. Toronto comes into Wednesday’s game with a 48-18 record on the season including a 31-10 record vs Eastern Conference opponents.
The Magic are 32-36 this season and have gone 2-1 since the NBA restart. They beat the Nets by 10 and the Kings by 16. Orlando is currently half-a-game behind the Brooklyn Nets for the seventh seed and they own the tiebreaker. The Magic are 20-19 this season vs Eastern Conference teams.
This is the fourth matchup between the two teams and the Raptors have won all three meetings to this point.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: VISA Athletic Center, Orlando, FL
Channel: SN, FSFL
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Raptors: Patrick McCaw (O)
Magic: Jonathan Issac (O), Michael Carter-Williams (O)
Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup
The Raptors came into the bubble as a team that wasn’t getting a lot of respect or attention. However, after beating the Lakers by double-digits and following it up with a win over the Miami Heat the Raptors are getting the respect they deserve.
A big part of why the Raptors have been so good since the restart has been their defense. Before the restart, Toronto had a defensive rating of 104.7 which was second-best in the NBA. In their two games in the bubble, they are posting a defensive rating of 96.1. That’s a full 7.7 points better than the next best team.
In the Raptors win over Miami, it was Fred VanVleet who led Toronto. He finished with 36 points, five rebounds, and four assists. He shot 8-16 from the field, 7-12 from three, and 13-13 from the free-throw line.
It was a similar performance to the one Kyle Lowry had vs the Lakers when he went off for 33-14-6. Like VanVleet vs Miami, Lowry was 8-16 from the field, 5-9 from three, and 12-15 from the free-throw line.
One of the most dangerous things about Toronto is that they have multiple guys capable of carrying the offense and the defense is always going to be there.
Orlando Magic Starting Lineup
The Magic have had a great start to the NBA’s bubble season as they are 2-1 since the season resumed. Orlando picked up a big win over the Brooklyn Nets and followed it up with a double-digit win over Sacramento before falling to the Indiana Pacers.
The win over the Nets moved Orlando into the seventh seed in the East and it also gave them the season series over Brooklyn for tiebreaker purposes. The loss to Indiana and the Nets win over Milwaukee flipped the teams and the Magic are now half-a-game behind the Nets for the seventh seed.
The biggest reason the Magic want to be the seventh seed is so they can avoid the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round but as it stands they would play the Raptors in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Orlando is 0-3 vs Toronto this season and Wednesday’s game is the final meeting between the two until a potential playoff series.
In the loss to Indiana, the Magic fell behind by 21 points in the first quarter and the game was never in doubt after that. Orlando’s defense was the problem as the Pacers shot 54.8% from the field and they only had seven turnovers as a team.
Orlando comes into Wednesday’s game ranking 22nd in the NBA in offensive rating and 12th in defensive rating. The Magic will be without Jonathan Issac for the remainder of the season after he tore his ACL in the win over Sacramento.
Raptors vs Magic Fantasy Basketball Angle
The Raptors-Magic matchup doesn’t have many big names when it comes to daily fantasy but there are several intriguing options. On the Raptors side, you could go with any of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, or Pascal Siakam. The Toronto backcourt has been big since the Orlando restart but figuring out which player will go off is tricky.
As for the Magic, the best option is Nikola Vucevic who has the highest projection of any player in the Raptors-Magic game. Aaron Gordon could also be a value play if looking for a cheaper option.
Raptors vs Magic Betting Odds
Raptors Odds: -250
Magic Odds: +205
Toronto comes into Wednesday’s game with a 3-0 record against the Magic. Toronto has won those three meetings by 9,16, and 7. Given how dominant the Raptors have looked lately it should be a safe bet that they will move to 4-0 vs the Magic. As for the over/under its set at 223 points and in the three previous meetings the two teams combined for 199, 210, and 173. Both teams are tough on the defensive end so the under seems like the smart play on this game.
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