Chris Bosh returns to where it all ended for him last year. He said that he remembers it all. The fans laughing at them. The Magic should be warned to, the last time the Raptors faced a team that knocked them out of the playoffs it wasn't pretty for that team. The Raptors marched into the swamp lands of New Jersey and ripped apart the Nets early last season. Jose Calderon will be there but if he is going to be playing is still up in the air. If not can Will Solomon have back to back performances like the one he had Sunday? I am not going to bet against it. After all I doubted he could have the first one.
The Magic come into this game on a 3 game winning streak. The latest was a win over the Bobcats that saw Dwight Howard get 0 field goals. Something tells me that won't happen twice. The Magic started their season with a loss to those surprising Atlanta Hawks but the Magic have come back from that and have had a respectable 7-3 start to the season. They are actually a half game ahead of the Hawks who have cooled off since their hot start and sit at 6-3.
During last year's playoff series I made a friend (Greg) who was cheering for the Magic. So I thought it would make sense to get some help from him on how the Magic are doing. He never misses a Magic game so why not hear his thoughts on his squad.
- Magic have struggled from the 3 point line. They still make their share but it is a case of the volume of attempts that take. ( This was a big factor in how the Magic beat the Raps in the Playoff series as they were on fire from 3 point range)
- Rashard Lewis has not been shooting the ball well but has been getting to the line. The Dino Blogger knows about the Lewis struggles cause he is on a fantasy roster on one of my teams.
- Jameer Nelson has been doing well and doing a good job and create his own chances while running the team(Jameer was huge key in the playoff series win for the Magic)
- Pietrus has made some big shots for the Magic. He (Greg) references a big shot vs the Mavs and some key plays vs. the Bobcats to prove his point.
- Some other things of note, Howard turned an ankle at end of Bobcat game but is fine. He has averaged over 4 blocks a game. This is the start of 3 of 4 at home for the Magic. They have been using a short rotation just like the Raptors with Stan Van Gundy only going 8 deep on most nights.
Raptors on the Road- 3-2
Magic at Home 4-2
Rebounds- Raptors 38.5, Magic 44.5
Magic have won 7 of their last 8 after a slow start.
Raptors Big 3 Will Remain:
The Raptors plan to keep the new starting line-up they used on Sunday. The one change would be Jose Calderon if he was able to go. This will be a much different challenge for this new line up. Lewis, Hedo and D-12 all have height and will present a challenge to defend for the Raptors. The ability to defend on the perimeter will be key as the Magic will fire it up from 3 regardless of if the shot is falling or not. Also the Raptors will need to have a plan to stop what should be a highly motivated Dwight Howard. Howard and Bosh have a well know friendship and on court rivalry. Many feel that Bosh out played Howard on team U.S.A in the summer on the way to a Gold Medal. The other thing will be how J.O impacts on all of this. He was brought in to help this team based on what the Magic did to the Raptors. This is why J.O came to the Raptors in a lot of ways. He knows that just as much as all of us do.
So the Raptors will be looking for some revenge and this game is not one you will need to hunt down. It is on The Score and it is one that Chris Bosh has likely been waiting for since the schedule came out in the summer. It should be a good one to watch. A real big test for the Raptors and if they truly can be better than what they were last season.
Here is the Preview from NBA.Com:
Raptors and Magic Preview
What Is Coming...Raptor Rewind...The Wait is Almost Over
So that is it for your set up for Raps and Magic. Raptor Rewind tonight with how it all turns out. I will likely have details on when the Big Announcement for the Dino Nation Blog will be made as well. It is coming soon and I hope everyone will be happy about it. The Dino Nation Blog is growing and that is a good thing for everyone. But for all of the folks that have been here and supporting it to this point. I thank you all and trust me you will always be valued by me. It is almost a year since this all started and it has been a truly great experience for me that I get a lot of joy from and you the readers of the Dino Nation Blog are a HUGE part of that.