The Orlando Magic shocked the world in Game 1, now what’s next in Game 2

The Orlando Magic's struggles in the playoffs exposed key weaknesses that the team still has to face. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic's struggles in the playoffs exposed key weaknesses that the team still has to face. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic showed their doubters why they belong in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, now they must dig deep in order to continue their success in Game 2 tonight.

The Orlando Magic are back.

For whatever reason, this team has found different ways to win and continue to confuse commentators and pundits around the nation on just who they are.

Before Game 1 of the Playoffs, no one on television predicted the Orlando Magic would win against the Toronto Raptors. Some may have thought this would be a sweep or go five to six games at best.

Now the Magic have all eyes on them for Game 2. The Raptors face their first must-win game of the year during Kawhi Leonard‘s tenure. A team some predicted could make the Finals and potentially upset the Golden State Warriors lost Game 1 to the Orlando Magic.

Even if those predictions have not changed for some pundits, they definitely have to reconsider just how good this Magic team can be in this year’s playoffs. They have to consider the Magic will put up a bigger fight in this first-round series than they anticipated.

This game showed everyone outside of Orlando the Magic belong in the playoffs this year. After a year of uncertainty too, the Magic seem to be making the most out of their opportunity.

It looks like this team gets it. For sure they have learned their lesson about taking games off. This is the same team that lost to some of the worst teams at the end of the year but then went on a winning streak to keep their playoff dream alive. They then took it to the Raptors on the road in Canada when no one outside of the fans at the Magic watch party thought they would be victorious.

Now comes the more difficult challenge in Game 2. The Magic have made the Raptors throw their best shot to attempt to tie the series at one game apiece, and force fans to doubt them again.

The Magic can take control of the series with a win Tuesday. And the Magic have to play with the same kind of desperation the Raptors will.

Everyone in Orlando’s camp recognized this Sunday. Coach Steve Clifford said the team knows it will have to play better offensively to defeat the Raptors. And D.J. Augustin said the Raptors will certainly come out stronger in Game 2. Each game in a series gets harder as teams learn each other more.

The Magic will need help from the entire roster to win it seems. In Game 1 seven players finished with double figures, including Terrence Ross and Michael Carter-Williams.

The Magic likely cannot expect the same type of game from D.J. Augustin as he uncharacteristically led the team in scoring with 25 points and six assists in 30 minutes. Most of those came in the first half — 19 in the first half — before Toronto switched Danny Green onto him. Augustin scored just six points in the second half and five came in the final minute as Orlando struggled offensively in the second half.

The same can be said for Nikola Vucevic who only scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 33 minutes of action. He struggled to shoot and had one of his worst offensive games of the year. He attracted plenty of attention that freed up others. But Orlando turned to Nikola Vucevic late in the game and he struggled with bad shots over Marc Gasol and a few turnovers.

On the flip side, Kyle Lowry did not score one point in the contest, missing all seven of his shots. The Magic know he will score in Game 2. Orlando did a stellar job on him all night long to keep him off the scoreboard.  But the team cannot expect the same, he is still considered a top point guard.

And even still, he had seven assists and eight rebounds with a Raptors-best +11 plus/minus. Clifford said Lowry played a strong game despite his poor shooting and the Magic will have to defend him better.

The Magic have already exceeded expectations of everyone who watched — or have not watched — them this season. They clearly expect more than the expectations that are put on them and this is why they have a chance in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference.

These guys know how it feels to lose and be slept on as NBA players. They want to make a name for themselves and have found the right cohesion at the right time of the year.

Orlando certainly is playing with a chip on its shoulder. It is not so much to get respect from outside sources but to prove they belong and simply to win. This group believes they have a chance every time they step on the floor. And with how the last 30 games have gone, who can blame them?

This can lead teams to unforeseen heights. The team that is hot at the end of the year is usually the team that can get out of the first round. The homecourt advantage the Raptors gained from finishing with a better overall record than the Magic did this year does not matter anymore because they took the home court advantage away in 48 minutes.

This is the time of year when overall records are only numbers. At this point in the year, the only record that matters is who leads the series.

And the Magic are 1-0 against the Raptors.

Next. Orlando Magic's season series with Toronto Raptors provides lessons for series. dark

The Magic have a unique opportunity tonight to put the world on notice by winning Game 2. They will need another replica of Game 1 to do so.