NBA Playoffs: 3 Keys for the Orlando Magic to win Game 1 over the Toronto Raptors

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 1: Kawhi Leonard #2 and Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors battle for a rebound with Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA game at Scotiabank Arena on April 1, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 1: Kawhi Leonard #2 and Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors battle for a rebound with Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA game at Scotiabank Arena on April 1, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 1: Happy crowd as Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) reaches for Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol (33) and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) as Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates in the background. Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic in 2nd half action of NBA regular season play at ScotiaBank Arena. Raptors won 121-10. Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

My Prediction

This being the first game of the series, I will add my general thoughts on how this series will go down.

The Orlando Magic should be able to give the Toronto Raptors some trouble. The regular season was not a complete mirage. The Magic’s length and versatility on defense are real things that have been established over the course of the season. They gave the Raptors specific trouble too.

That will not go away. Orlando is going to play Toronto tight in unexpected ways to a lot of the national media. The Magic will not be an easy out by any stretch.

Will Aaron Gordon completely shut down Kawhi Leonard? No.

And that is probably the biggest difference in the series. The Magic have had to play at a playoff level for the last several weeks. The Magic rightly think that will help them as the series gets started.

But they do not have the extra gear or the experience to meet the intensity they will face. Not entirely. Leonard certainly has that gear. And that is going to be the rude awakening this team gets.

Toronto will win a few blowouts in this series. Orlando will keep some games close. And whether the Magic can keep this series really close depends on whether the Magic can win those close games every time.

But the fact is, Toronto has too many weapons. The Magic are going to struggle to track Marc Gasol on the perimeter or Danny Green around screens. Their depth advantage is going to go away and the Raptors are going to put a lot of pressure on Nikola Vucevic in every way.

Leonard can ratchet up his defense and that will put a lot of pressure on Gordon to score. He is probably going to find some difficulty doing so.

The Magic will keep this close. They are not without hope. But it will take Orlando being perfect throughout.

This series could go six games easily. The Magic are a tough out. But ultimately the Raptors win in 5.

dark. Next. Orlando Magic prepare the same, but playoffs brings change

Game 1 of the series tips off Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN and FOX Sports Florida.