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Toronto Raptors Vs. Orlando Magic

ROUND ONE - Eastern Conference
Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic Series Preview

The Orlando Magic (52- 30) finished first in the Northwest Division of the Eastern Conference and won the season series against Toronto 2- 1. Orlando was the top scoring team in the East, averaging 104.5 PPG, but of all playoff teams in the conference they were third in defense, allowing 99.0 PPG.

The Magic can shoot and score. Center Dwight Howard leads the club in scoring (20.7 PPG), blocks (2.15 BPG) and rebounds (RPG). Although lacking from the free throw line (59%), he’s solid from the field (60%). Small forward Hedo Turkoglu hits 19.5 PPG and is good for 5.0 APG, while power forward Rashard Lewis puts in 18.2 PPG. Point guard Jameer Nelson and shooting guard Maurice Evans are both sharpshooters with Nelson putting in 47% of his shots and Evans 49%. Nelson leads the team from downtown hitting 42%.

Although the Toronto Raptors (41- 41) finished second in the East, they were 25 games out of first with a .500 record. They scored 100.2 PPG but allowed 97.3 PPG.

For the Raptors, power forward Chris Bosh is “the man,” averaging 22.3 PPG and 8.7 RPG. He hit 49% of his shots, 40% of his threes and 84% of his frees. Point guard T.J. Ford puts in 88% of his free throws and is good for 6.1 APG and 12.1 PPG, while point man Jose Calderon puts in 11.2 PPG and takes down 8.3 APG. Shooting guard Anthony Parker pumps in 12.5 PPG while hitting a team-leading 44% of his threes. On defense, small forward Jamario Moon could be a difference maker. Moon has 1.38 BPG and 1.03 SPG, while grabbing a solid 6.2 RPG.

For the Raptors to win, they’ll need to keep it close and use their superior 81% free throw skills and 39% arc shooting accuracy. Toronto will win if they can exploit these attributes. Still, the Magic will be tough to shut down, especially from the outside. This is a close match-up and it may come down to defense. Neither has much of an edge in that category.

Maddux Sports Series Prediction:

Orlando Magic in 6 Games

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