Series Price Odds & Predictions: The Magic Is In You, Raptors

I didn’t like the backstabbing’ Magic Johnson abruptly quits LA Lakers

Kawhi Leonard appears to be quite pleased with the way his first regular season with the Toronto Raptors went.

He just doesn't know it.

The Raptors will host the Orlando Magic in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET and hopefully Ibaka doesn't try to cook for Leonard during the playoffs because the last thing the team needs is Kawhi being unavailable with an "illness". Guys came in today and they were focused.

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan used to share the leadership load for the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs. He's been to the mountain top, as his 2014 Finals MVP award proves. His game-winner on November 20 saved the Raptors from what could have been a bad loss while his seven 3-pointers sparked a big second half in the team's win on April 1.

"It's totally about how you're playing, " Clifford said of how momentum plays a role for teams heading into the playoffs. "That's what I value the most, just being closer [to your goal] and every game means something to a certain point".

So who wins Magic vs. Raptors?

The 21-year-old Anunoby averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 20.2 minutes per outing in 67 games this season. "I want to play on a team that fights for the playoffs, at least", said Parker, who just completed his 18th National Basketball Association season and should be a lock to end up in the Hall of Fame. "I think when your peers respect your game and respect the fact that they've seen you work, I think that's more important". Saunders reportedly will receive a three-year deal with a team option on the final season. The hope is that Leonard can be the difference. Only six teams play at a slower pace than Orlando.

Leonard won't be out there alone. Who will run the team? "I've learned a lot this year and it's been very educational for me".




Both teams put on a late-season surge to get to where they are, with the Magic doing it over a longer period of time. We're all gonna have to be locked in defensively.

Magic Johnson's shocking resignation as the 16-time NBA champions' president of basketball operations Tuesday night compounded the turmoil that always seems to envelop the Lakers, who remain among the most talked-about sports franchises in the world even though they haven't made the playoffs since 2013.

After some fits and starts the Raptors finished up the season with the NBA's fifth-best defensive rating and third overall in effective field goal percentage allowed.

The Raptors have to be thrilled with the partnership they formed with Leonard. If he's able to get his like he has for the majority of the season, and especially in the last few weeks, then the Magic's second unit will cause some problems for the Raptors.

The Magic have already clinched a playoff spot.

Nope, he may not have wanted to disappoint the Lakers' owner, but he also wants to get back to having good times in his life. "Obviously you can do that for 82, but it's extremely hard", said Danny Green.

"So, we're all excited to go back home and see how it'll be, " Vucevic added.

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