One Key To Success- Toronto vs Orlando Game 2

After winning the opening game in Toronto on Saturday afternoon, the Orlando Magic look to take a controlling 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series on Tuesday night. The Magic won on the road with their All-Star Center (Nikola Vucevic) and super-sub Terrence Ross having an off night shooting the basketball. Even though they combined to shoot 5 for 25, the rest of the team stepped up to pickup the slack.

D.J. Augustin scored 25 points and completely out played Toronto’s All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry who was scoreless. Augustin knocked down 4 of Orlando’s 14 three-pointers in the game. Even though Evan Fournier shot 7 for 18 from the floor, he hit key baskets throughout the entire game. By the end of the game, the Magic had 7 players in double-figures and beat the Raptors 104-101. So with Game 2 on the horizon, lets take a look at a one major key that could help each team win on Tuesday.

Orlando Magic: Continue To Knockdown Three-Pointers

In game one, the Magic not only hit 14 of them, but they hit them at a 48% clip as a team. Speaking of team, Orlando had almost everyone who played to hit one. 8 of the 9 Magic players who played knocked down at one or more (Khem Burch was the only one who did not hit one). Counting Game 1, since December 1st, the Magic are 12-2 when hitting more than 41% as a team from the three-point line.

The key to this success is hit these shots early in the game. After missing their first 3 attempts, Orlando knocked down 8 of the next 12 to close out the first half. Consistency is the most important. To go even deeper, the Magic are 11th in the NBA in three-point percentage. When they shoot better than the 35.8% that they average, Orlando is 27-16 in those games.

If Steve Clifford allow Augustin to use the pick and roll to create open shots and the Magic knock down a few of them early, it will lead to easier chances both beyond the arc and on drives to the rim. D.J was terrorizing the Raptors the entire game with drives to the rim.

Toronto Raptors: Finding Kyle Lowry’s Jump-shot

Kyle Lowry for the last few years has been a lighting rod for controversy among fans of the Toronto Raptors. His legacy as a Raptor has been very good point guard during the regular season and goes missing in the playoffs. His performance in game 1 did not give Toronto fans much more comfort than they have had with him over the last few years.

Yes, Kyle did other things on Saturday. He was the only Raptor starter that ended the game as a positive (+11) on the plus/minus chart. He added 8 assists, 7 rebounds and committed only two turnovers. Those were key contributions to Toronto, but the bad news is that Lowry was scoreless. He missed all 7 of his shot attempts and all 6 of them from downtown. On top that a career 80% free throw shooter, missed both of his free throw attempts.

How important is Kyle’s shooting to the Raptors? When he makes 5 or more field goals in a game, Toronto’s record is 25-7 this season. When he makes 3 or more three-point baskets in a game, Toronto’s record is 27-3. So when Kyle is hitting shots, the Raptors normally walk away with a victory. Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse needs to get him going early in order to help his team towards success on Tuesday night.

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