The Raptors have escaped the infinity mirrors of their past, so where to next?

After the highs of Kawhi’s Game 7 winner, the Raptors are back in the thick of a playoff war against the Bucks, and already down 1-0. This time, however, it feels different to root for Toronto. I think about basketball synchronicity a lot. In the winter of 2018, a couple of Twitter threads were circulating, collecting tiny moments of on-court symmetry: players unwittingly running and jumping and bending down and falling over in perfect sync together, as nimble and coordinated as backup dancers. Eventually, people started stitched these clips together into supercuts that were somehow never long enough, no matter how long they were. From the second I saw my first one I was obsessed; watching them felt so full-body satisfying to me that it was almost gross. It’s my ASMR, I joked to my friends, not really joking at all. After I’d watched all the compilations, I even started looking for similar coincidences in the games I watched on TV, pausing and rewinding even the most tedious interstitial moments like I was panning for gold.
On one hand, it’s obvious why I loved these moments so much: they’re cool! But also, why? Why exactly is it …

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Author: Emma Healey / Raptors HQ

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Magic adjust in Game 5?

The Toronto Raptors cruised to a Game 4 win behind Kawhi’s excellent two-way performance, but is that the only reason they won? The Magic got going early, but weren’t able to sustain it, and we might know why. Last Sunday, the NBA world was blessed to see an amazing two-way performance by Kawhi Leonard, a Toronto Raptor. Whatever strategy that may have worked for coach Steve Clifford and his Orlando Magic on Friday night in Game 3, it didn’t bother Kawhi one bit in Game 4.
Kawhi also followed up his lacklustre defensive showing in Game 3 with perhaps his first full game playing serious defense this season. In fact, the sight of him closing in was enough for Terrence Ross to give up a wide-open three-point shot.
So then, what else did we see in Game 4 from the Raptors and the Magic? What kind of adjustments should we expect from coaches Steve Clifford and Nick Nurse? And what can we suggest as well?
For the Magic
It’s boom or bust for the Magic if they can’t free up Nikola Vucevic. At least, that’s their mentality, and they’ve focused all of their resources throughout four games to …

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Author: JD Quirante / Raptors HQ