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SportNBA playoffs 2019: Predictions, picks for Raptors vs. Magic first-round series

02:45  12 april  2019
02:45  12 april  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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2019 NBA playoffs . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. All rounds are a best-of-seven series ; the first team to four wins advances to the next round . Previous playoffs series . TBD leads 0–0 in all-time playoff series . ^ " Raptors clinch playoff berth for 6th straight season". CBC.ca. March 9, 2019 .

The official home of the 2019 NBA Playoffs : Matchups, schedules, stats, news, features, video highlights and playoff bracket. Home Home. 2019 Playoff Picture Playoff Picture.

NBA playoffs 2019: Predictions, picks for Raptors vs. Magic first-round series © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

The Raptors enter the playoffs under as much pressure as any team, certainly in the East.

Not only are they looking at a history of postseason flops, including the sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers in last year’s conference semifinals (which pushed the team to make Nick Nurse coach and let Dwane Casey go), there was, too, the blockbuster deal for Kawhi Leonard, who will be a free agent this summer. His interest in staying with the Raptors could be influenced by how far the team goes in the playoffs.

They’re going against the worst kind of foe — a Magic team that has nothing to lose, that was not supposed to be a playoff team entering the season and was left for dead at 20-31 before rallying to finish 22-9.

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The Raptors and Magic only squared off four times this season, but in those games significant trends emerged An important first step is in place for what is undoubtedly the most anticipated post-season in # Raptors will face the Magic in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs . They split the season- series in

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NBA PLAYOFFS 2019: Full schedule | East predictions

Raptors vs. Magic: Schedule, breakdown, prediction

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)
April 13 Game 1 at Toronto 5 p.m. ET (ESPN)
April 16 Game 2 at Toronto 8 p.m. ET (TNT/fuboTV)
April 19 Game 3 at Orlando 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
April 21 Game 4 at Orlando 7 p.m. ET (TNT/fuboTV)
*April 23 Game 5 at Toronto TBD
*April 25 Game 6 at Orlando TBD
*April 27 Game 7 at Toronto TBD (TNT)

(*if necessary)

The key player

Few players gave Toronto fits quite like Orlando All-Star Nikola Vucevic, who averaged 20.0 points, 15.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists (55.0 percent shooting and 45.5 percent from the 3-point line) in the four regular-season games that the teams split this year.

He plays a perimeter game as a shooter and passer, which spells trouble for the Raptors’ elder big men, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, and will likely force Nurse to use Pascal Siakam, who is a bit undersized for the matchup, on him.

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The 2019 NBA Playoffs bracket CBS Sports. First - round NBA playoff series schedule. *All times Eastern. Game 2: Magic at Raptors , Tuesday, April 16, 8 p.m. -- TV: TNT | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free).

The official site for the latest NBA Basketball regular season standings from across the league. (6) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in opposite conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).

The big number

18.0. Leonard had an outstanding comeback season in Toronto (26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 49.6 percent shooting), but did not fare well when facing Orlando, averaging only 18.0 points per game and struggling against versatile Magic forward Aaron Gordon.

According to NBA.com stats, Gordon guarded Leonard on 43 possessions in three games this season and allowed him only 40.0 percent shooting. The Raptors need more production out of their offensive anchor.

Raptors vs. Magic prediction

This won’t be a cakewalk for the Raptors. The Magic closed the season strong. They defend well, and they can create matchup problems for Toronto. But they lack the experience or depth to pull off the upset.

Raptors over Magic, 4-2

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