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Toronto Raptors

Relive 2019 Toronto Raptors championship run: 1st Round series preview vs Orlando Magic

Over the next 24 days, each playoff game of the Toronto Raptors' road to the 2019 NBA title will be shown on either TSN or Sportsnet. The action starts on Friday with Game 1 of the opening round against the Orlando Magic.

To help get you set, here's a series preview originally published last April. We'll also be featuring game recaps and written content throughout the month to transport you back in time for a complete experience of reliving the most memorable stretch of basketball in Raptors' history.

For a complete listing of when TSN and SN are showing each game, check out the broadcast schedule right here.


Series Schedule

Here is the re-air schedule for the series

  • Game 1 - Friday, March 20 - Game 1, 8 p.m. ET (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Game 2 - Saturday, March 21 - Game 2, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)
  • Game 3 - Sunday, March 22 - Game 3, 8 p.m. ET (Sportsnet & Sportsnet ONE)
  • Game 4 - Monday, March 23 - Game 4, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)
  • Game 5 - Tuesday, March 24 - Game 5, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)

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 was one of just eight teams to win twice at Scotiabank Arena last season and is one of seven teams to beat 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

Danny Green

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 through the 2018-19 regular 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.

Terrence Ross

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.

Nikola Vucevic

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.

Fast Facts

- 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.

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