Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (Feb. 2, 2021): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic shoots the ball during Game Five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptorsat Scotiabank Arena on April 23, 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 23: Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic shoots the ball during Game Five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptorsat Scotiabank Arena on April 23, 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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The Orlando Magic face another major injury and a daunting task of ending their losing streak to the Toronto Raptors and trying to right the ship this season.

Toronto Raptors (8-12) vs. Orlando Magic (8-13)

Time/TV:

7 p.m./FOX Sports Florida

WATCH MAGIC-RAPTORS ON FUBO TV

FOLLOW LIVE

Tickets:

$8-$604 on StubHub

2021 Season Series:

Raptors 115, Magic 102

in Tampa on Jan. 31; Feb. 2 in Orlando

PaceOff. Rtg.Def. Rtg.eFG%O.Reb.%TO%FTR
Toronto100.2110.9110.152.928.014.623.5
Orlando99.3104.8111.348.828.013.622.3

OMD Prediction

When it rains, it pours. The Orlando Magic are in the deepest of ruts this season as they try to find their footing through all the injuries the team has faced. It does not seem like there is any clear out. There is not. And it is only getting worse. Aaron Gordon will miss his first game in what may be a month without him after sprained his left ankle in Sunday’s loss.

A team that is terribly disorganized is only going to get more disorganized as they now have to fully rely on Cole Anthony and Jordan Bone to run point guard. Or quite possibly Evan Fournier. In either case, this is not the team to do that. Toronto is going to crowd the paint and pressure the team. If Orlando can stay aggressive and patient, they might be able to get open shots as they did during the second half Sunday.

81. 107. 38. Prediction. 122

3 Keys To Watch

Pick up the Pace

Cole Anthony had some interesting thoughts after the Orlando Magic’s loss Sunday. He said part of the team’s organizational problems came from their thinking too much. The most success they have had is when they are able to play freely without thinking. It was almost like he was saying that the Magic were wrong to abandon the pace they tried to set under Markelle Fultz.

There might be something to this. The Magic’s pace before Fultz’s injury was 101.5 possessions per 48 minutes (13th in the league). Since then, it is 98.0 possessions per 48 minutes (24th in the league). The Magic are trying to play a more controlled tempo that has required execution that they simply have not had.

The Magic’s pace with Anthony on the floor is 100.0 for the season. With Aarn Gordon now out, the Magic might have no choice but to let Anthony run the show and let him try to pick up the pace more. But that might also be more dependent on the team’s defense actually getting stops.

Bench energy

Whenever a team is missing players, they have to find someone who can step up and replace at least part of what they do. This is the “next man up” mentality. They need someone to do the things Aaron Gordon will do or Markelle Fultz will do. Or at least step up their game in a significant way. The Toronto Raptors to major contributions from Yuta Watanabe and DeAndre’ Bembry in Sunday’s win.

So who is it going to be for the Orlando Magic on Tuesday? The Magic’s second unit has largely been a saving grace for the team with Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross able to keep those units honest even with Aaron Gordon’s inconsistency as a ball-handler and point guard. Without Gordon, the team needs someone to take on that role and take on the responsibility. Someone is going to need to provide some energy and spark this team out of its funk.

Chuma Okeke’s return

The only good news the Orlando Magic have received recently is that Chuma Okeke appears set to make his return to the lineup. He was left off the team’s injury report Monday and will be available to play in Tuesday’s game. That is a welcome sign.

While Okeke is still a rookie and still finding his footing in the league, he showed a lot of promising signs even in just five games to start the season. He showed an aptitude to hit 3-pointers and showed great defensive instincts, even as he got his feet wet after returning from a year off to recover from a torn ACL.

Next. Orlando Magic breaking at the seams. dark

His averages are not impressive overall. Nobody should expect Okeke to be a cure-all. But having him back will be a big boost to the team, even just emotionally.