The Toronto Raptors, who are off to the best start in franchise history, look to add onto their winning record as they step foot into Florida against the Orlando Magic. The Raptors (5-0) are coming off an impressive win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, after a fourth quarter run led by some clutch plays from DeMar DeRozan.
The Magic on the other hand, despite a poor record, are coming off some solid performances against some of the West’s best teams. Evan Fournier has been on a roll as of late, coming off a 29-point performance in an overtime loss against the Houston Rockets.
Cage’s Keys To The Game
The Raptors are on a 5-0 roll, and the Magic are a young, inexperienced team.. However, the Magic are still a very talented team, with guys like Victor Oladipo, and Tobias Harris. Nikola Vucevic may be a game-time decision this evening, but doesn’t take away from the fact the Magic will be a very competitive team. The Raptors’ focus must continue into this game. If they decide to play down to their competition’s level, the Raptors will be in trouble.
As aforementioned, the Magic have some young, talented perimeter players: Harris, Oladipo, Fournier, Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja. This will be a major challenge for the likes of DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, and Terrence Ross. It’s a very talented mix of shooting and penetration; whoever the respective match-ups are going to be, the agenda is clear – limit their ability to attack and shoot, and make them work for everything.
So far, so good into five games of the season. However, with the Magic deep in younger talent; the bench must be able to carry a bigger load. The starters have a big enough to task to deal with; for this game, the bench must be able to produce offensively, and limit what the opposition does with their defense. Look for Ross to be aggressive, as he matches the mold for most of the opposition this evening.
X-Factor: DeMar DeRozan
DeMar has been on a role, and despite going through foul trouble and some issues scoring in the beginning through the last two games respectively, he’s found a way to produce. He’s been getting to the free-throw line, attacking the paint, and playing solid defense. Historically, DeMar plays well against the Magic – hopefully he can continue that trend.