Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic
Records: Raptors (22-34), Magic (18-37)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, April 16
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: TSN 1/4/5
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
It has already been confirmed that the Raptors will rest Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, and Gary Trent Jr. is also listed as doubtful with the same ankle sprain that kept him out of Wednesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs.
And while Toronto went into that contest without Lowry, Trent and Fred VanVleet, as well as another key rotation player in DeAndre' Bembry, they were still able to come away with a huge win to keep them within one game of the Play-In Tournament.
MORE: Anunoby shines as shorthanded Raptors hold off Spurs | DeMar DeRozan speaks on Anunoby's growth
Since then, the Chicago Bulls - the team they're chasing for that final Play-In spot - suffered a major blow with All-Star guard Zach LaVine expected to miss 10-to-14 days in the league's health and safety protocols, leaving the door wide open for the Raptors to try and steal that No. 10 seed.
And although they will not have Lowry, Anunoby, Siakam and (likely) Trent for this contest against the Magic, it is expected that star guard VanVleet will retake the floor for the first time in seven games. VanVleet missed six games with a hip injury and then was forced to serve his one-game suspension (for the altercation against the Los Angeles Lakers) against the Spurs. He is not listed on the lengthy injury report, meaning we'll likely see VanVleet line up against the team he scored a franchise-record 54 points against earlier this season.
Fred VanVleet ERUPTS for a career-high and @Raptors franchise record 54 POINTS, 11 THREES! 🔥- NBA (@NBA) February 3, 2021
Undrafted players becoming franchise record holders. Where else? #OnlyHere pic.twitter.com/BsreotFP0R
It will be the first real chance to see a VanVleet-Malachi Flynn backcourt, as the rookie guard's breakout came in the absence of Lowry and VanVleet. Flynn has been awesome in filling in for his veterans, averaging 14.5 points, 5.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals over the last eight games.
This will also be a revenge game of sorts for big man Khem Birch, who has exceeded expectations since joining Toronto after being bought out by Orlando.
MORE: Birch is looking like a perfect fit with the Raptors
Down a ton of firepower, the Raptors will look for players like Birch, Chris Boucher, Yuta Watanabe and Freddie Gillespie to step up to the challenge.
The Magic might own the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, but they have a handful of promising young players that are trying to earn their keep at the end of the season. Rookie guard Cole Anthony has just returned from nearly a two-month absence with a rib injury and has picked up right where he left off, averaging 11.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Rookie forward Chuma Okeke, who was a lottery pick in 2020 but missed his entire first season with an ACL injury, has flourished with extra playing time as well, averaging 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks per game since the trade deadline.
Add those players into a mix of other established veterans like Terrence Ross and James Ennis, as well as a re-emerging former top-10 pick in Wendell Carter Jr., and you have a team that won't go down without a fight.
😤 @wendellcarter34's face says it all 😤 pic.twitter.com/xeTJ41oHrn- Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) April 15, 2021
The shorthanded Raptors are going to have to earn this one if they're going to send the Magic back up the Interstate with a loss.
- OG Anunoby (rest) - Out
- DeAndre' Bembry (hamstring) - Questionable
- Jalen Harris (hip) - Doubtful
- Kyle Lowry (rest) - Out
- Pascal Siakam (rest) - Out
- Gary Trent Jr. (ankle) - Doubtful
- Mo Bamba (hip) - Questionable
- Michael Carter-Williams (ankle) - Out
- Markelle Fultz (knee) - Out
- Jonathan Isaac (knee) - Out
- Otto Porter Jr. (foot) - Out
Raptors vs. Magic: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors -2.5 (-110), Magic +2.5 (-110)
Raptors Money line: -140
Magic Money line: +120
Over/under: 215.5 (-110)
* Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
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