Three Questions from the Raptors: An Orlando Series Retrospective

After a largely one-sided series, we spoke to the Orlando Pinstriped Post to hear a Magic fan’s perspective on how the series went down. For the final instalment of the Magic series’ Three Questions, we spoke to managing editor Mike Calli of the Orlando Pinstriped Post to hear his thoughts looking back on the first round.
*****
In the spirit of positivity, let’s reminisce on some of the best Orlando Magic moments/plays during this series. Are there any that pop into your head?
Thinking… thinking… thinking.
Yeah, I can only think of one: the D.J. Augustin game-winning shot in Game 1.
After that, the Magic didn’t hold a lead in the series again until midway through the third quarter of Game 3. In fact, I went back and did the math and, after Game 1, Orlando held a lead over the Raptors from a grand total of five minutes and 49 seconds over three games. The Raptors led the entire way in Games 2 and 5, the Magic held the lead for 27 seconds in Game 3 and for the first 5:22 of Game 4. When playing from behind for the entire series, mostly by a large margin, there won’t be too many happy moments …

Read More

Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 5 vs. the Orlando Magic

After a dominant Game 4, we spoke to the Orlando Pinstriped Post before the Raptors look to take the series on their home court. The Raptors have a chance to close out the Magic… tonight! Mike Calli of the Orlando Pinstriped Post was kind enough to answer some questions for us heading into Game 5:
*****

Both Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka had huge games on Sunday, propelling the Raptors to victory. What did they do differently this time around?

This seemed like the first game of this series where one of the benches actually made an impact on the result of the game.
Entering Game 4, all of the Raptors primary reserves were shooting less than 40 per cent in the series. That changed in a big way with Normal Powell shooting 7-for-9 for 16 points, nearly surpassing his total from the first three games combined (17 points, 31.6 percent shooting), and Serge Ibaka shooting 5-for-6 for 13 points.
Overall, the ball movement when the Raptors’ second unit was on the floor seemed much better than it had been. Powell, after struggling with his three-point shot the first three games, was aggressive throughout in Game 4, attacking the basket without hesitation and often beating the Magic off the dribble …

Read More

Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Raptors vs. Magic Game 4 Thread: Updates, TV info, and more

The Raptors are still in Orlando, but they’ve got a 2-1 series lead over the Magic. Can they put this one out of reach or will they… do their usual thing? Let’s watch. With the sweep firmly out of play, there’s still an opportunity for the Raptors to show some signs of dominance in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics just won out 4-0 against the Pacers, the Bucks are well on their way versus the Pistons, and the Sixers are laughing at 3-1 over the Nets. Only Toronto remains at the 2-1 mark on the precipice of either supremacy or another frustratingly long grind.
Not to disregard the Magic, who, it should be said, are playing for their life, the outcome of this series has always been predicated on what the Raptors do. They’re the number two seed, the squad with a realistic dream of the NBA Finals, and owner of a clear talent advantage over Orlando. They’re also the franchise that has won exactly one (1) playoff series in their history in fewer than the maximum amount of games. That was last year against the Wizards, a series they managed to close in six, …

Read More

Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 4 vs. the Orlando Magic

After a close Game 3, we spoke to the Orlando Pinstriped Post to hear a Magic-oriented take heading into Game 4. We asked some questions to Mike Calli, managing editor of the Orlando Pinstriped Post, before the Raptors play the Magic tonight.
*****

Vucevic finally got it going in Game 3, specifically against Ibaka. Do you anticipate Vucevic playing more minutes with the bench next game to take advantage of that matchup? How do you see this change, if implemented, impacting the Magic’s centre-centric offense?

The more minutes Nikola Vucevic gets opposite Serge Ibaka, the better for the Magic. But I don’t think Nick Nurse would allow that for very long, if at all. As long as Marc Gasol isn’t it foul trouble, he will be on the court shadowing Vucevic regardless of which unit he plays with. When Gasol is on the court, Vucevic has shot just 30.4 percent (7-for-23), committed nine turnovers and produced an offensive rating of 96.6. When Gasol is off the court, Vucevic has shot 54.5 percent (6-for-11), committed one turnover, and produced an offensive rating of 118.9. After three games, that’s no coincidence, it’s a trend.
Even when Vucevic had his burst in Game 3, much of his …

Read More

Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Magic adjust in Game 4?

Has Orlando Magic solved their problem with Vucevic vs. Gasol? How did Siakam erupt for 30 points? Should the Raptors “bench” their problem? We dive into some Game 4 tactics. Pascal Siakam put the basketball world on notice on Friday night, and the Magic couldn’t do anything about it. Or, maybe they can, but they refused to mitigate it. That’s what we’re here to figure out.
Game 3 should not have been as close as it was, with the Magic coming close to stealing it had they secured one crucial rebound. Maybe the Raptors have to make some changes too, in that case. Let’s see what transpired in Game 3 and what advice we can offer to coaches Nick Nurse and Steve Clifford.
For the Magic
Coach Steve Clifford should see some silver lining in Game 3 after Nikola Vucevic was finally able to get going — at least for a stretch. There’s still some tinkering that needs to be done for Orlando, though, such as solving the Isaac-Ross-Fournier rotation.
Get Gasol into Foul Trouble to Free Vooch
Has Clifford found a way to free Vooch or was it a fool’s gold? Vooch’s best game of this series mostly …

Read More

Author: JD Quirante / Raptors HQ

Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 3 vs. the Orlando Magic

Ahead of Game 3, we spoke to the Orlando Pinstriped Post to understand the mindset of a Magic fan in these trying times. After a Kawhi-led thrashing, we spoke to managing editor Mike Cali of the Orlando Pinstriped Post to hear his thoughts before the Raptors head to Orlando for Game 3.
********

From a Torontonian’s perspective, Game 2’s officiating seemed to benefit the Magic immensely, especially in the first half. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the officiating from an Orlando Magic fan’s perspective.

Allow me to answer this question in video form….

Michael Carter Williams was bloodied by Kyle Lowry..no call. I always knew that adage “no blood no foul” was a hoax. pic.twitter.com/UjyLpRuSo7— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) April 13, 2019

A no-call on a near-broken nose in Game 1 must be worth at least 10 make-up calls, right? But in all seriousness, I’m sure we will both have biased opinions on this subject. The only time we remember officiating is when we feel there was a bad call or no call that worked against our team.
In Game 1, I felt the whistles (or lack of, see video above) favoured the Raptors. In Game 2, the whistles may have …

Read More

Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Raptors head to Orlando for crucial Game 3: Preview, start time, and more

The Raptors head to Orlando for the Magic’s first playoff game at home since 2012. It will be raucous. Can the Raptors handle the pressure and keep the momentum going? We’ll find out. Well, here we are. Game 3 in Orlando. The Raptors will have momentum on their side tonight, on the backs of crushing performances from Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard in Game 2. But the Magic will have the home crowd, and it promises to be a raucous one.
This is Orlando’s first playoff game at home since the 2011-12 season. Back then, they were leading the charge, such as it was, with Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, and Hedo Turkoglu (losing four-games-to-one against the Pacers in the first round). Then it was seven long years in the wilderness. The Magic organization is finally steadier nowadays, with Jeff Weltman taking over as president last season. They prioritized athleticism and length, nabbing draft picks Wesley Iwundu and Jonathan Isaac, and assembled a roster that made sense. As it stands, this Game 3 will mean a lot for Orlando.
However, in this series, Isaac is having his troubles. In two games, he has shot 6-of-18 from the field, and has been …

Read More

Author: Ben_Scott / Raptors HQ

Three Questions for the Raptors ahead of Game 2 vs. the Orlando Magic

With an unfortunate Game 1 in the books, we speak to the Orlando Pinstriped Post again about what to expect heading into Game 2 in Toronto. After a mildly traumatizing Game 1 for the Raptors, we spoke to managing editor Mike Cali of the Orlando Pinstriped Post again to hear his take on the series so far against the Magic. And to get his thoughts on Game 2 coming up tonight.
*****

Kyle Lowry doesn’t go scoreless often. Do you anticipate the Magic’s defensive game plan shifting if he makes his shots in game two?

If Kyle Lowry had just made one or two of the open looks he had in Game 1, many of the conversations and tweets since Sunday would be quite different. Magic coach Steve Clifford praised Lowry after the game (in no way sarcastically) for the contributions he made elsewhere and the impact he had on the game even while going scoreless. I think all of Orlando is expecting Lowry to make plenty of shots in Game 2, but either way, the Magic’s defensive game plan is pretty set in stone.
Against a perimeter player like Lowry that means contesting all shots and playing tight body-to-body defense. The Magic didn’ …

Read More

Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ