Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic
Records: Raptors (13-4); Magic (9-8)
Where to Watch
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
The Orlando Magic enter Tuesday's matchup with the Toronto Raptors having won five of their last six games, their lone loss coming on the second night of a back-to-back to the Washington Wizards, a team they had beaten a few days prior in dominating fashion.
Nikola Vucevic has been spectacular during Orlando's recent stretch. Following a tough loss to the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 7, the 28-year-old is averaging 25.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
He's been incredibly efficient, too, making 58.9 percent of his field goal attempts and 35.5 percent of his 3-point attempts in his last six games.
Vucevic was recognized for his strong play by beating out the likes of Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kemba Walker to be named the Eastern Conference's Player of the Week for games played between Nov. 12-18. The Raptors will need both Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas to be locked in defensively to contain the Magic's leading scorer so far this season.
Orlando has a lot more talent outside of Vucevic. Fresh off of signing an $84 million extension with the franchise in the offseason, Aaron Gordon is coming off of his best game of the young season in a win against the New York Knicks on Nov. 18.
In 29 minutes of action, the explosive forward scored a season-high 31 points on only 17 shot attempts.
The Magic also have a number of shooters Toronto has to be wary of in Evan Fournier, D.J. Augustin and former Raptor Terrence Ross, plus a talented big man off the bench in Mohamed Bamba, who was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Raptors will have to get it done without C.J. Miles (right adductor strain) and OG Anunoby (right wrist sprain) on Tuesday, and potentially Kyle Lowry (sore right ankle). Having Kawhi Leonard back will certainly help if Lowry isn't able to go, as would another strong showing from Fred VanVleet.
After getting off to a slow start this season, VanVleet looked more like himself on Saturday when he scored a game-high 18 points against the Chicago Bulls. He was a huge reason for Toronto's success last season, so a repeat performance might help get his game back on track.
It might help the Raptors as a whole get their game back on track, too, as they've lost three of their last four games following a 12-1 start. Their last win was a 122-83 blowout, but expect the Magic to put up more of a fight than the Bulls, who currently have the worst net rating (-10.4) in the league.
Last Time They Played
Date: April 8, 2018
Score: Raptors 112, Magic 101
Magic: Aaron Gordon - 16 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds
Raptors: C.J. Miles - 22 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists