Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic / NBA – Perhaps someone thought that this could be one of first-round pairs where it will be the easiest to forecast the final outcome but Orlando showed that is capable to win Toronto. Of course, the Raptors are favourites to win the series but they simply didn’t show in the first game. The second game will be also played in Canada. Toronto continued with tradition to lose every first game in play-off (expect last season).
Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic begins 17.04.2019 at 02:00 CET
As it was expected at the beginning of season Toronto was one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in the regular season. Perhaps some expected that will end up ahead of the Bucks but the second place and score 58-24 are not bad at all. The Raptors made an unexpected trade last summer and sent their best player DeRozan to San Antonio in exchange for the best defensive player in the league Leonard, who had a great season and was Raptors’ best player with 26.6 points.
Toronto made another interesting trade in February when they brought veteran Gasol from Memphis in exchange for Valanciunas, although it seems that the biggest benefit was progress of young Siakam, who become the second option in attack (he proved that in the first game). It seems that the Raptors didn’t take Orlando seriously and that backfired. Misunderstanding between Leonard and Gasol in the last defence on Augustin was the key (together with Lowry dreadful performances, since the Orlando’s guard scored the decisive three-pointers.
Probable lineups Toronto Raptors: Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam, Gasol
Orlando is in the play-off for the first time since 2012 mostly thanks to excellent results made in last two months, when it had score 22-9, and especially in last 13 games of the regular season when they managed to overtook Miami and Detroit in the standings thanks to 11 victories. Compared to Toronto, Orlando players almost have no experience in the play-off (five best Toronto players have together 417 play-off games in their career, while the entire Magic can put together only 33) but that couldn’t be seen in the first game.
They stopped Toronto below 110 points with a great game (which is how much the Raptors scored minimally in last nine games) and took lead in the series with victory 104-101. The Magic backcourt played fantastically, which in fact won the match. Their job in the second game will be more difficult, but Orlando has nothing to lose as many already see Toronto in the next series, and that is perhaps the best chance for the team from Florida.
Probable lineups Orlando Magic: Augustin, Fournier, Issac, Gordon, Vucevic
Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic PICK
In last five seasons Toronto was always a candidate for the great final but they managed to reach just once the final of Eastern Conference (which is why they fired coach Casey and got rid of DeRozan). Toronto’s management was definitely under pressure because of those two moves and it only increased after losing the first game. We expect that the Canadian team reacts and prepare revenge for defeat in the first game.
Pick: Toronto -9.5 points
Odds: 1.91 at 10bet (down to 1.83 can be played)
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