The Toronto Raptors did little to silence their critics on Saturday night as they lost Game 1 of its first-round series against the Orlando Magic, 104-101.
This was supposed to be the year that the Raptors finally made it to the NBA Finals, but they are already in a tough spot. Expect the fans in Toronto to be extra crazy and raucous to try and help their team even up the series.
Toronto lost just one of its final eight games during the regular season but was unable to carry that momentum into the series opener. The Raptors finished the regular season with a 58-24 record and easily won the Atlantic Division.
Orlando won its final four games in the regular season and stayed hot with an impressive performance in Game 1. The Magic won the Southeast Division this season with a record of 42-40. Toronto is a -10.0 point favorite in Game 2 of the series.
Magic Will Slow Down the Game Again
The Orlando Magic know that they don’t have the weapons to run with the Raptors, but they do have a formula for winning. Orlando slowed the game way down in the series opener, using their terrific defense to frustrate the Raptors.
The Magic allowed just 106.6 points per game during the regular season but were even better in game 1. Aaron Gordon had a team-high three steals in the opener, and Jonathan Isaac registered three blocked shots. The Magic can win this series if they defend well.
Veteran point guard D.J. Augustin poured in 25 points and had six assists in the Game 1 victory. Augustin also knocked down the game-winning shot, and took Kyle Lowry out of the game defensively.
All-Star center Nikola Vucevic was held to just 11 points in Game 1, but the team had plenty of other players step up. This Magic team has a ton of veteran presence, and they won’t be afraid of the moment in Game 2.
Raptors Need Lowry to Show Up
If the Toronto Raptors are going to even the series up, they’re going to need Kyle Lowry to play well. Lowry has had a history of not showing up in the playoffs, and the fans in Toronto will let him hear about it.
The veteran had eight assists in the series opener but failed to score a single point. The Raptors averaged more than 114 points per game during the regular season, but they can’t score if Lowry isn’t leading the way.
The Raptors will look to speed this game up against the Magic to get their offense going. Toronto did make 12 three-pointers in the Game 1 loss and has the potential to get hot from deep.
Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam combined to score 49 points in the series opener, and they will need to be great again in this game. The Raptors just simply didn’t look like themselves in game 1 of the series, but they have the potential to even this up.
Toronto Gets Even in Series
Road teams often surprise home teams in game 1 of a playoff series, and that’s exactly what happened in this one. Now that the Raptors know that the Magic are for real, they will refocus and bounce back with a big win.
Toronto is still going to win this series, but they will have to work a little harder to do it. Bet the Toronto Raptors -10.0 over the Orlando Magic in Game 2.