Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic
Where to Watch
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 4
Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet ONE
Location: Visa Athletic Center, Orlando, FL
Who guards Pascal Siakam?
After a quiet outing to open the seeding game schedule, Siakam warmed up in the Raptors win over the Heat, scoring 13 of his 22 points in the first quarter.
Can he build upon that?
The last time Siakam faced the Magic was a forgettable one, as he finished with 10 points of 4-for-22 (18.2%) shooting, thanks largely in part to the elite defence of the lengthy Jonathan Isaac. With Isaac out after suffering a torn ACL Sunday, the Magic will now have to figure out how to slow down the Raptors All-Star forward.
Aaron Gordon will likely take the most of the assignment with Gary Clark, James Ennis, Wes Iwundu and potentially Michael Carter-Williams each taking turns guarding Toronto's leading scorer. Last postseason saw Siakam have a coming out party of sorts against Orlando when he led the Raptors to a Game 3 win with a 30-point, 11-rebound double-double.
We could very well see him have his bubble breakout performance against the Magic on Wednesday.
How will the back-to-back affect Orlando?
During the seeding games, each team has one back-to-back on their schedule. The Magic just happened to draw the defending champs on the second end of theirs.
With travel out of the equation, it's a little different from a typical back-to-back situation but as a reference point, Orlando was 1-9 on the second night of a back-to-back prior to the season's restart.
It's high stakes for the Magic, who, depending on their performance in the seeding games, will finish seventh or eighth in the standings, setting up a postseason date with either these Raptors or the No. 1 seeded Milwaukee Bucks.
Every game counts, including their meeting with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
Will Steve Clifford go deeper in the rotation to combat fatigue? Will Orlando have enough in the tank to contend with a more rested Toronto team?
Is it Norman Powell's time?
As mentioned earlier, Pascal Siakam had a rough go the last time these two teams met in late November. In fact, it was an overall ugly game for pretty much every Raptor not named Norman Powell.
In a 90-83 grind-out win, Powell finished with 33 points on 12-for-18 (66.7%) shooting from the field and 5-for-8 (62.5%) shooting from deep in a starting role. The rest of the team shot 19-for-66 (28.8%) from the field and 6-for-30 (20.0%) from deep.
I don't expect the rest of the team to shoot that poorly on Wednesday, but maybe Powell can replicate that performance while coming off the bench.
So far, Powell has been unable to pick up where he left off prior to the season's suspension, averaging 7.5 points on 28.6% shooting in the Raptors first two seeding games. In Monday's win over the Miami Heat, Norm showed some encouraging signs, getting to the rim for an explosive dunk, connecting on a triple and dishing out five assists.
Can he build upon the momentum of the positive things to have a breakout performance of his own?
As of the NBA's 11 a.m. report.
- Oshae Brissett (Right Knee) - Out
- Patrick McCaw (Left Knee) - Out
- Michael Carter-Williams (Left Foot) - Doubtful
- Jonathan Isaac (Left Knee) - Out
- This is considered a Magic "home" game, featuring arena sounds and game presentation for them. Fitting, as the game is taking place roughly 25 miles away from the Amway Center where they normally play home games.
- Magic point guard D.J. Augustin spent 10 games with the Toronto Raptors in the 2013-14 season.
- Magic wing Terrence Ross was drafted eighth overall by the Raptors in 2012, spending the first 363 games of his career with Toronto before being traded to Orlando in a deal centred around him and Serge Ibaka in 2017.
- Ibaka spent 56 games with the Orlando Magic in the 2016-17 NBA season prior to the trade.
- Magic centre Khem Birch hails from Montreal, QC.
- Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson were teammates for one season at the University of Arizona.
Last Time They Played
Date: Nov. 29, 2019
Score: Toronto Raptors 90, Orlando Magic 83
Raptors: Norman Powell - 33 PTS (12-18 FG), 2 STL
Opponent: Evan Fournier - 19 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB, 2 STL
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