Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
TV: Fox Sports (Central Florida)
Radio: WDBO 580 AM
Records: Toronto-32-26, second place in the Atlantic division, Orlando-38-23, first place in the Southeast division. Toronto on the road- 14-13; Orlando at home- 17-11
Line: Magic by 2.5
This is the rubber match between these two clubs, as the first meeting went
to Orlando, 105-96 back in November, and the Raptors dismantled the Magic
127-110 a little over a week ago in Toronto. The Magic hold a 24-21 lead in
the all time series.
Key Bench Players:
PG: Jose Calderon (12.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 8.7 apg, 92% FT, and 54% FG).
SG: Anthony Parker (11.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 78% FT, and 47% FG).
SF: Jamario Moon (8.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 72% FT, and 47% FG).
PF: Chris Bosh (22.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 86% FT, and 50% FG).
C: Andrea Bargnani (10.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 82% FT, and 38% 3P).
PG: Jameer Nelson (10.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, 82% FT, and 36% 3P).
SG: Maurice Evans (8.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.9 apg, 37% 3P, and 48% FG).
SF: Hedo Turkoglu (19.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.8 apg, 84% FT, and 39% 3P).
PF: Rashard Lewis (18.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 84% FT, and 40% 3P).
C: Dwight Howard (21.7 ppg, 14.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.4 bpg, and 60% FG).
SG: Carlos Delfino
SF: Jason Kapono
PF: Kris Humphries
PG: Keyon Dooling
SG: Keith Bogans
PF: Brian Cook
The Raptors are 11th in the league in points scored (100.2 ppg.), 6th in
field goal percentage (46.59%), 6th in adjusted field goal percentage
(51%), 1st in three point shooting (42%),2nd in free throw percentage
(81.43%), 12th in field goal percentage allowed (45.14%),7th in
opponents ppg. (95.8), 22nd in opponents three point shooting (37%),21st in
steals (6.9/gm.), 2nd in turnovers (11.2/gm.), 27th in blocked shots
(4.0/gm.), 26th in rebounding (40.4/gm.), and 6th in assists (23.4/gm.).
What do the stats tell us? The Raptors and shoot the ball and defend well
on the perimeter. They're a little soft on the inside and on the glass.
Here's how Orlando matches up:
6th scoring (104.3 ppg.), 5th FG %
(47.06%), 2nd in adjusted FG% (53%), 7th three point shooting (38%),
24th FT% (72.61%), 11th FG% allowed (45.04%), 18th opponents scoring (100.4
ppg.), 19th opponents three point shooting (37%), 26th steals (6.2/gm.),
13th turnovers (14.0/gm.), 24th in blocked shots (4.3/gm.), 11th in
rebounding (42.2/gm.), and 24th in assists (20.1/gm.).
Best matchup for Toronto: Chris Bosh (if he plays) vs.Rashard Lewis (or
Dwight Howard)- Bosh is a tough matchup for anyone, and he will push Lewis
around down low. If Orlando opts to cover him with Dwight Howard, Bosh will
simply take Howard outside and either shoot an 18 foot jumper, or beat him
off the dribble. Bosh is averaging 33 ppg., and 7.5 rpg. against the Magic
If Bosh doesn't play, best matchup is Jose Calderon vs. any Orlando point
guard- Calderon is entirely too quick for any of the Magic point guards, and
he will be counted on heavily if Bosh isn't available. Calderon has been
better than his 14.5 ppg. and 9.5 apg. show against Orlando.
Best matchup for Orlando: Dwight Howard vs. Andrea Bargnani- Bargnani's game
is finesse, and Howard eats those types of guys for dinner. Toronto will
have to send double and triple teams at Dwight to keep him from having a
huge night. Howard has averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds per game against
the Raptors this year.
Key To Victory:
1) The Raptors will need Bosh if they are to compete in a game where they know their opponent, is preparing to bring
nothing short of a 100% effort to win, following an embarrassing loss less
than two weeks ago in Toronto. Should Bosh be unable to assist the Raptors,
they will then need a huge game from two of their starters and Delfino
(below). Calderon and Moon... Moon may be their top rebounding threat in the
front court, as the remaining depth is very questionable on the glass.
2) Still a key point to defeating the Magic is allowing the bench depth to
dictate the flow of the game. Since the Magic lack any defensive presence,
simply turning Kapono and Delfino loose gives Toronto a great advantage,
since Delfino is a strong scorer and rebounder from the bench, and plays
very aggressive defense, and Kapono is a sharp shooter who can nail a shot
with 1/2 foot of open space.
3) Let Calderon run this game if Nelson is matched up against him. If Bosh
can go, it's his show, as the Magic never seem to have an answer to his
explosive style fo play.
4. Try to get the Magic into foul trouble from the start, and keep the
pressure up through the entire game. If they can get Howard out of the game
early, and off of his game by keeping in question as to which defensive
moves to make, they should be able to easily slow the Magic, as a team, on
both sides of the ball.
5) The Raptors can play the half court game very well, and when the Magic
are opposed by these offensive and defensive balanced teams, they tend to
falter. Since this game is somewhat pivotal, there should be plenty of
energy and intensity.
1) This could be the single most important game of this month. If
the Magic are to take advantage of Bosh being injured and push back the
Raptors, who could be a 1st round opponent, Orlando needs to make a
statement. If the Magic can come away with a victory, it will mark eight
out of the last ten in the win column, and it would be a confidence and
moral boost this team need to finish this season off with, thus of all must
win games for this month, this could and should be the biggest. Orlando
must bring the requisite amount of intensity with them to the arena, and not
sleepwalk into the second quarter.
2) With Bosh down, dominating the glass is key, as will be being very active
on offense in the paint. Over the past nine games, the Magic have shown they
can utilize other methods aside from jumpers and blinding amounts of three
point shots to win a game. Moon is a tough interior defender, but on his
own, he should not be able to shut down Howard, or Lewis from having a good
inside game overall. Attack the basket at will, get to the line, and keep
the Raptors off balanced.
3) The Magic must remember that tipoff is at 7:05, not 7:30. Orlando
started the New York game off sluggish, and it wasn't a big issue, being
that they didn't have enough depth to keep the team from taking the lead and
taking the game over. The Raptors, on the other hand, have a good amount of
depth that could be problematic if Orlando gets down early.
4) Take advantage of mismatches, and if Arroyo or Dooling matches up better
against Calderon, then they must get the bulk of the minutes. Orlando must
take advantage of every mismatch available, as Toronto is not a great
Since there are reports Bosh will sit the next three games, and
I don't know the legitimacy of the reports, it's hard to say whether or not
he will play.
Even if Bosh does sit, Orlando hasn't played the
Raptors well in over two seasons, this will likely be a very tight game from
buzzer to buzzer. Magic by 2, it comes down to the final possession.
You don't embarrass Stan Van Gundy twice in a little
over a week. The Magic find a way to get the job done. Take Orlando, give