Game Preview: Orlando Magic vs Toronto Raptors

Didn’t see the game yesterday, but needless to say, it’s disappointing to see them losing to Memphis. Looks like defense is an issue (surprise). They always seem to have problems playing there, no matter the quality of the team.

I will be in ACC for tomorrow’s game. Here is a quick preview.

Orlando Projected starting 5:

PG: Jameer Nelson
SG: Vince Carter
SF: Michael Pietrus
PF: Ryan Anderson
C: Dwight Howard

Note: Vince Carter turn his ankle last night and might not play. He seems to be fine afterward, so he could show up and play in front of his fans who just adore him. If not, JJ Redick will start. Ryan Anderson is having a good start to the season, filling in for Rashard Lewis.

Raptor Projected Starting 5:

PG: Jose Calderon
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Hedo Turkoglu
PF: Chris Bosh
C: Andrea Bargnani

Things to look at:

– If Vince Carter plays tomorrow, you will see plenty of Antoine Wright. Wright and Carter were teammates in NJ, and Wright should be familiar with Carter’s moves and tendency.

– In previous two meetings, the Magic’s strategy on Bosh is playing off him, allowing him to shoot jumpers, but prevent him from driving. It makes sense for the Magic because Dwight Howard wouldn’t get into foul trouble. So I expect the Magic to do the same thing again, so Bosh’s jumper is key.

– Ryan Anderson is doing a good imitation of Rashard Lewis, at least with shooting 3s. He did have a good game against the Raptors last season. Anderson is a virtual clone of Troy Murphy; a PF who can shoot 3 and rebound, but not much else.

– Bargnani has to learn how to stay on the floor. He’s been in foul trouble for two straight games, fouling out in Memphis. He also fouled out in the last pre-season game. Rasho will play a lot minutes regardless, but Bargnani has to learn how to stay on the floor.

– Keys to a Raptor victory.

1) Defend the 3s. This is the trademark for the Magic. So stay with the shooters and not allowing open looks. They have too many good shooters to gamble on.

2) Rebounding. The Raptors allowed way too many offensive rebounds in the last 2 games. You can’t not give teams like the Magic free possessions. They will shoot a lot of threes, so remember long shots, long rebounds.

3) Hack a Howard. Howard is shooting a staggering 77% in the first two games, but an ugly 41% from the free throw line. So if in doubt, hack him. We probably don’t have the personnel to push him out of the paint (where he is completely ineffective), but I have no issues if the Raptors start hacking him and send him to the foul line.

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