Five thoughts on last night – Toronto Raptors 109, Orlando Magic 99

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The Raptors at the moment are 3-0 in the NBA Bubble, because of an a, uh, thankless sport in opposition to the Orlando Magic. As we got into more here, Toronto received off to a perfect begin, loved stable contributions from a couple of players, and weathered whatever attempts at a comeback the Magic may put together.

It wasn’t at all times an attractive night of basketball, but the finish end result used to be the identical: Toronto bought the job achieved. That’s three in a row within the bubble, and seven wins in a row dating again to prior to the league’s suspension. (It truly does really feel like this might had been the 12 months for 60 wins in Toronto. Ah smartly.)

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5 thoughts on remaining night time: Toronto Raptors 109, Orlando Magic 99

About evening:

here are five extra ideas on ultimate evening:

1. girls and gentlemen… the Orlando Magic?

not to start this off on too imply a notice but: what is the deal with the Magic? On paper it looks like they’ve put collectively something value gazing — a gruff but cherished train, a superior publish man, some athletic wings, a few guards with some recognize-how, the unique trainwreck that is Markelle Fultz, etc. Why can’t anything exciting ever seem to emerge?

five ideas on final night time: Toronto Raptors 109, Orlando Magic ninety nine

The Raptors had played Orlando thrice already this season previous to the Bubble, profitable all three contests. They’ve now swept the season sequence — but by hook or by crook may just prove enjoying the Magic within the playoffs as they cling on for pricey existence on the finish of the bracket. because of the imploding Nets and Wizards, Orlando could stick round in seventh place via default. That’s in reality the place you want to be on this situation.

You ever watch that express What We Do within the Shadows? There’s a character in the tv adaptation who is referred to as an “power vampire”, any person who drains the lifeforce from folks just with the aid of being around (and via being extremely boring). That, to me, is this Magic crew. desirous about having to look at 4 more Magic-Raptors games just exhausts me.

2. Spry Marc Gasol is Working laborious

who wasn’t looking exhausted in ultimate evening’s contest? Marc Gasol! The Spanish giant man put up six of his eight photographs within the first quarter and in point of fact gave the look to be exhibiting out, serving to to push the Raptors to that massive 26-11 lead they loved within the first quarter. As per average, Gasol additionally helped hang All-celebrity large man Nikola Vucevic to well beneath his season averages, with simply 12 points (on four-of-10 taking pictures) and 9 rebounds.

That opening frame saw Gasol make a few moves in the publish, with only a kind of first six pictures coming from beyond the arc (he missed it, however hit two 3s later, including one to offer the Raps a crushing 21-level lead). along the best way, the rest of the Raptors got going on a thirteen-0 run within the first quarter ahead of the bench got here in and performed thru into the 2nd. If nothing else, it was once fun to look Gasol in the market doing his thing.

but don’t fear, this new me-first energy isn’t going to Gasol’s head. although he used to be quieter within the second (and finished the game with just one help), there was once a moment when Marc enthusiastically recognized himself as a the foul giver after Evan Fournier tried to Euro-step around Kyle Lowry. It didn’t work, but kudos to Gasol for seeking to be selfless as soon as again.

3. OG clean, Siakam Sloppy

for those who’re a Raptors fan, these types of moves from OG Anunoby have got to get you excited:

It’s just one play, and it used to be just two of OG’s 12 factors, however it speaks volumes as to where the young ahead is now with his sport. These are the varieties of plays we’ve needed to look (wanted to peer!) from Anunoby due to the fact he came into the league. And if he can start managing the ball like this frequently, it opens up much more for Toronto’s offense.

For his section, Anunoby used to be nonetheless playing as a wrecker on safeguard remaining night and still making the off-ball cuts he already excels at. It’s turning into clear for Toronto that while they can’t run the offense via him, they may be able to at least count on him to be opportunistic with the ball and care for mismatches. See: everytime bad Terrence Ross obtained stuck seeking to cease OG within the publish.

Of concern although: i believe like we’re nonetheless waiting for the entire talent set of Pascal Siakam to indicate up in Orlando. This isn’t to say Spicy P hasn’t been placing in work. He does finally assist Toronto’s defense be what it’s meant to be thanks to his vitality and versatility. but Siakam’s offense has come to count slightly rather a lot on three-balls today, and taken a dip in effectivity. final night in opposition to the Magic, Siakam had seven turnovers and simplest three buckets throughout the three-point line. yes, he completed with 15 points and the Raptors easily won, however… will we ask for extra from Pascal?

four. Calamity within the 1/3

ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic there with the subtitle. The Raptors took the lead on this sport and had been by no means truly threatened by way of the Magic. nevertheless it did really feel like within the third quarter issues were going down that have been supposed to unsettle Toronto.

The Raptors opened the 2nd half of with a crushing 55-35 lead, however the Magic cut that lead in 1/2 earlier than the six minute mark of the frame. alongside the way in which, Orlando acquired right into a 9-zero run, with Ross going off for a few of his universal buckets. again, it was onerous to get too concerned right here — this is still the Magic we’re talking about — however then Lowry one way or the other bought hit with a Flagrant 1 foul on Aaron Gordon and it felt like issues might get tighter nonetheless. (It used to be now not an un-dangerous play.)

Ah, however Gordon made the basic mistake of chirping Lowry. and then he, lamentably, had to sit down out the rest of the night with hamstring tightness, robbing us of the possibility to look Lowry educate him a lesson namely.

in any case, the Magic mustered some extra power, acquired the lead right down to seven a couple of instances, but the Raptors would simply take that as their cue to place on slightly extra drive. And Lowry? smartly, he cruised to a near-triple-double evening of eight factors, ten assists, and nine rebounds in 37 minutes.

5. more From the Bench

Amongst all of the different causes for the win, the Raptors additionally noticed the re-emergence of their bench unit against the Magic. each Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell scored in double figures (eleven and 14 points, respectively). Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played some hustle safeguard and successfully ran the purpose right here and there, including executing some successful 1-four decide-and-rolls with Lowry. And Terence Davis finished one nice smash, which was encouraging to peer.

It’s clear educate Nick Nurse, now offered with a principally wholesome crew, has clamped go into reverse on his Raptors rotation. The starters are locked in, the principle bench components recognize their roles, and it’s in reality only a subject of casting round for eighth and ninth man minutes where essential. It’s additionally turn out to be clear that Nurse is able to live and die with Hollis-Jefferson (and would presumably be the usage of a wholesome Patrick McCaw too). As for Davis, Chris Boucher, and Matt Thomas, it seems like they’ve moved back to “in case of emergency” mode. They’re a enjoyable bunch to have round, however no longer essentially to rely on as the games get more critical.