The field is set for the 2019 NBA Playoffs, which begin on Saturday.
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Here is the schedule for the series, which begins on April 13
- Game 1 - Saturday, April 13 at Toronto, 5 p.m.
- Game 2 - Tuesday, April 16 at Toronto, 8 p.m.
- Game 3 - Friday, April 19 at Orlando, 7 p.m.
- Game 4 - Sunday, April 21 at Orlando, 7 p.m.
- Game 5 (if necessary) - Tuesday, April 23 at Toronto, TBD
- Game 6 (if necessary) - Thursday, April 25 at Orlando, TBD
- Game 7 (if necessary) - Saturday, April 27 at Toronto, TBD
Recapping the season series
Result: Teams split 2-2
Best game: Nov. 20, 2018 - Raptors 93, Magic 91
Best performance: Nikola Vucevic (Dec. 28, 2018) - 30 points, 19 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
The four-game regular season series between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors was an interesting one: In the first game on Nov. 20, the Raptors led by as many as 18 points, but a furious Magic comeback resulted in Toronto needing late-game heroics from Danny Green to escape with a win.
On Dec. 28, Orlando held Toronto to 29.5% shooting from the field en route to a 29-point blowout win; it was the Raptors biggest margin of defeat in the 2018-19 season. On Feb. 24, the Magic earned a 15-point win at Scotiabank Arena led by a 28-point performance from reserve guard Terrance Ross, who spent the first 4.5 seasons of his career with the Raptors.
Toronto closed the season with a 12-point home win over Orlando on April 1 fueled by Danny Green's 29 points (on 7-for-10 shooting from deep).
Orlando is one of just eight teams to have won at Scotiabank Arena this season and is one of seven teams to have beaten Toronto more than once in the regular season. It is worth noting that Kawhi Leonard sat out on Feb. 24 and Kyle Lowry was sidelined during the blowout loss on Dec. 28.
Key storyline: Kawhi's return to the postseason
Kawhi Leonard returns to the postseason after missing the entirety of the 2018 playoffs while still a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard appeared in 12 postseason games in 2017, averaging 27.7 points (on 52.5% shooting) to go along with 7.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
Leonard's experience and ability to dominate a playoff series is exactly why Masai Ujiri made the decision to trade for him in the 2018 offseason. A deviation from what had failed in years past has invigorated this team and brought upon unprecedented expectations ahead of the postseason.
All eyes will be on the Raptors All-Star forward as he has hinted for some time that he and the team will tap into another level once the postseason begins.
3 Players to Watch
vs. Orlando in 2018-19 (four games): 13.5 points (50% 3-point shooting), 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Green, who has proven himself as one of the league's most valuable role players this season, played a big hand in each of Toronto's wins over Orlando this season. His game-winner on Nov. 20 saved the Raptors from what could have been a bad loss while his seven 3-pointers sparked a big second half in the team's win on April 1.
The 10-year veteran finished the season shooting 45.5% from beyond the arc; his ability to stretch the floor is big for the Raptors offence and can sway a series.
vs. Toronto in 2018-19 (four games): 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds
Ross has an opportunity to make things difficult for his former team and he enters the postseason on an absolute tear. Over the final 10 games of the regular season, the 28-year-old reserve averaged 18.9 points while shooting 46.9% from the field and connecting on nearly 45% of his 8.9 3-point attempts per game.
vs. Toronto in 2018-19 (four games): 20.0 points (55% shooting, 45.5 % 3-point shooting), 15.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists
For the Magic, it all begins with Nikola Vucevic, who this season became the franchise's first All-Star since 2012 (Dwight Howard). The versatile 7-footer finished the regular season averaging 20.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game while shooting over 50% from the field and over 35% from 3-point range (on nearly three attempts per game).
Vucevic was at his peak in his near triple-double against the Raptors in late Dec.; performances such as those are capable of leading Orlando to a win.
- This is the sixth consecutive postseason appearance for the Raptors, who were eliminated in last season's Eastern Conference Semifinals.
- Orlando returns to the postseason after a six-year absence - its last postseason appearance came in 2012.
- This is the second postseason meeting between the Magic and Raptors; in 2008, Dwight Howard led Orlando to a five-game series win over Toronto.
- It is the second time the Raptors finished with the East's No. 2 seed. The first time was in 2016 when the team made its deepest run in franchise history, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing in six games.
- Magic head coach Steve Clifford has now made the playoffs in three of his six seasons as an NBA head coach. He has a 0-2 series record in the First Round.