In the forerunner game of its current road racing, Toronto Raptors won the Orlando Magic victory over a game that unexpectedly dropped onto the wire.
The Raptors have led as many as 18 points, and it seems that Magic put them under their thumb before the half-time, but the cold spell in the third quarter – including going 1/10 from the bottom – helped Magi to play. Here's how to get Raptors 93-91:
The Raptors avoided overtime courtesy of Danny Green. After Green allowed Orlando's Evan Fournier, who ran all 27 points, to reach him on the edge of the undisputed dunk that tied the game to his previous possession, Raptors came out of timeout and called Green's number. With 2.5 seconds per hour, he flicked around the screen and picked off a rebound point from backward Kyle Lowry and raised to a 15-foot jumper with the remaining 0.5 seconds to beat Raptor.
Together with the double block with Kawhi Leonard against Boston earlier this season, add Green's winner to his list of signing moments early this season.
Despite coming to Toronto in the relative shadow of Leonard's deal, Green has certainly come first in its first months as Raptor. A ten-year-old veteran with the NBA under the belt, a 31-year-old guard takes on the natural role of a head coach and remains a prominent voice and toner on and off the court.
The basic element of the starting line, he is the defensive player-changer and the offense is the biggest threat of team shooting. In a deep team like Raptor, one of its greatest attributes is that it does not require the ball to be effective, a feature honed during its years in San Antonio. Green has an average of two-point points and leads Raptor to three points, despite being only eightth in the team's attempt to shoot at the game at 7.5.
You do not need advanced metrics to know that Green has made a big impact. But they are there if you want them: Green's offensive rating of 119.2 has ranked him among all NBA players averaging 20 or more minutes per game after only Steph Curry (119.6). When defensive factor, his personal net rating of 16.9 is the best in the league.
On Tuesday he finished with 13 points with three rebounds, one steals and one block.
For all the ways he contributed to Raptors' best NBA 14-4 start, Green did not need to win the game on his resume to win Raptors or their fan base. But it does not hurt.
Ibaka keeps rolling
Serge Ibaka continues her eye opening season. In the midst of Raptor's offensive battles during Tuesday, Ibaka ended with 14 points and nine rebounds, including clutch plates and baskets. This jumper with Lowry should have been the winner of Raptor:
After another night with Lowry (nine points in 32 minutes), Ibaka is now in second place at Raps behind Leonard in scoring (17.5 points per match) and recovers (7.8) and is first in blocks (1.4 ). His turn this season was stunning.
When Raptors Bought Terrence Ross for Ibaka two seasons ago, they offered the potential to boost the front and infusion playoff experience on the list. Until the end of last season, after a disturbing tournament appearance, you would have thought that the trade was unsuccessful for both sides. Prior to this year's season, Ibaka was a frontier idea, closer to the problem than a solution to Ratcho's short-term and long-term plans. Now? He saw his offensive potential unlocked in Nick Nurse's offense – playing particularly well in line with Lowry – and greater presence than ever defending during his Raptor. It was an integral part of the jigsaw puzzle.
He also formed a two-seater monster for Toronto in the center along with Jonas Valanciunas. There are even two rare rituals in rituals. After Magic retired and their tall, dirty and bounced duo Mo Bambe and Jonathan Isaac on the front track, the nurse put Ibaka and Valanciunas on the floor with Green, Fred VanVleet and Lorenzo Brown (who were solid in extended reproduction time ). Bamba and Isaac did not match the body of the great Raptor men, and Toronto quickly took the lead while Orlando failed to pick up Nik Vučević, who won 14 points and took 18 leaps in loss.
Raptors vs Winning Teams
Maybe we should predict a tough night for Toronto because of his appearance against the winners this season.
The Raptors have entered this game with the best league record, but also one of the easiest schedules. Against the record-winning teams, the rackets were only 3-4 on the cover of the competition on Tuesday. Now 4-4, seeing that this ratio will improve, will be one of the most important benchmarks for Raptor's assessment against other potential NBA candidates.
Magic was not in that category, but thanks to the intriguing mix of talent development (and their soft schedule), they entered the game on Tuesday at 9-8 and showed why the East is less than the cakes this season than the previous ones. Exception? Next opponent Raptor, 3-14 Atlanta Hawks, who drives eight games in his home game against Toronto on Wednesday.