Today’s game: Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors, 1 p.m.

TV: FSN
Radio: 580 WDBO

Orlando Magic PG Jameer Nelson SG Vince Carter JJ Redick SF Mickael Pietrus Matt Barnes PF Ryan Anderson C Dwight Howard

Top story: The Magic are 2-0 after clawing to a 95-85 victory against New Jersey on Friday night. The big question mark is Vince Carter, who sprained his ankle Friday but expects to play today and will miss today’s game. Mickael Pietrus will mis today and Tuesday’s game with flu-like symptoms, as well. Otherwise, the Magic have a versatile and balanced team, as five players are averaging double-figures (not including starters Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus, whose scoring numbers are low after two games).

Who you’re watching: All eyes will be on Carter and the health of his ankle. The Magic’s offense stagnated with Carter out – and it’s hard to blame them with two starters out – so his presence is undoubtedly important. He was enjoying his best game in a Magic uniform Friday before the injury, hitting 6-of-8 shots for 16 points in 14 minutes.

Why they’ll win: Maybe it’s because I’m around the team, but at this point, if the Magic aren’t playing Los Angeles, San Antonio, Cleveland, Portland, Denver or Boston, they can only beat themselves. If the Magic hit a respectable percentage of their shots, play team defense, limit the turnovers and control the defensive boards – yes, enlightening stuff here – they shouldn’t have a problem. That said, Toronto always gives the Magic problems.

Toronto Raptors PG Jose Calderon SG Demar Derozan SF Hedo Turkoglu PF Chris Bosh C Andrea Bargnani

Top story: After shocking the Cavaliers in the season opener, the Raptors fell to the Grizzlies 115-107 on Friday night. The team has surrounded superstar Chris Bosh with several talented offensive players – Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, rookie Demar Derozan and, of course, Hedo Turkoglu. The Raptors have plenty of offensive firepower, and while their individual players are known for their turnstile-like defense, they can beat any team on a given night.

Who you’re watching: Hedo Turkoglu, show your worth. The 30-year-old will play with some extra juice tonight after the Magic showed little interest in re-signing him this offseason, according to Turkoglu. He said the meeting with the team was awkward and he “hated to go.”

Turkoglu was upset with the Magic after what he called an “awkward” meeting with the front office following the season. He said the Magic made an unsatisfactory offer — four years for $34 million, with the Magic insisting on holding the option on a fourth season — and some communication issues. Turkoglu said he first got the impression he might become a former Magic player after he met with General Manager Otis Smith and Coach Stan Van Gundy. “They said I had a good year, it’s a good market for you and we hope you get some money,” Turkoglu said. “It was awkward. After that, my agent [Lon Babby] looked into other teams. Then they [the Magic] didn’t return our calls. They made some kind of offer. … It was frustrating.”

Why they’ll win: The rebuilt Raptors have little depth – only eight players are receiving significant minutes – but their starting lineup is scary when their offense is working. Any team that can take it to the Cavs like the Raptors did has to scare you. While the Raptors will struggle against Dwight Howard (Bargnani is no Kendrick Perkins), this team is not the New Jersey Nets – they can score right with Orlando.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

Quantcast