The Orlando Magic open the 2012 calendar year by hosting the Toronto Raptors in a Sunday matinée. Since losing their first game of the 2011/12 season, the Magic have won each of their last three games by an average of 15.3 points thanks to balanced offense and stifling defense, albeit against less-than-stellar competition. They'll look to maintain their success on both sides of the ball against a lottery-bound Raptors club that's lost two straight.
The Raptors have dialed down the pace of their game under new coach Dwane Casey, but have the same weaknesses that've plagued them throughout their recent history. Toronto doesn't rebound, doesn't force turnovers, and doesn't draw fouls, making it overly reliant on its offense in order to win games. If the Raptors' shots don't fall, they have little else on which to rely. Floor-spacing center Andrea Bargnani leads the Raptors with 21.3 points per game and is shooting 53.2 percent from the floor and 40 percent on three-pointers; one assumes Ryan Anderson will draw the assignment of covering Toronto's franchise player, leaving Dwight Howard free to cover Amir Johnson closer to the basket.
The Magic went 1-2 against the Raptors last season, winning one meeting by 40 points, but losing the other two by four points each.
Tipoff is set for Sunday at 6 Eastern on Sun Sports.
|2011/2012 NBA Season|
|1-2 (0-2 away) |
|3-1 (2-0 home) |
|January 1st, 2012|
|José Calderón||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|DeMar DeRozan||SG||Jason Richardson|
|Rasual Butler||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Amir Johnson||PF||Ryan Anderson|
|Andrea Bargnani||C||Dwight Howard|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|93.0 (T-10th)||Pace||91.4 (17th)|
|105.9 (21st)||ORtg||107.7 (T-14th)|
|112.7 (30th)||DRtg||101.8 (3rd)|