The four-game regular season series between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors was an interesting one: In the first game on November 20, the Raptors led by as many as 18 points, but a furious Magic comeback resulted in Toronto needing late-game heroics from Danny Green to escape with a win.
The 10-year veteran finished the season shooting 45.5% from beyond the arc; his ability to stretch the floor is big for the Raptors offence and can sway a series.
Leonard was then asked about how the major quadriceps injury that held him to just nine games with San Antonio last season was handled and it was clear how he feels about Toronto's medical staff.
How Does Orlando Slow Down Toronto's Stars?
"Obviously you can do that for 82, but it's extremely hard", said Danny Green.
Off the court there have been rumors that some elite National Basketball Association free agents don't want to come play with LeBron, either as a Laker or as a member of the cast of the movie 'Space Jam 2.' Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of those who said he would pass on being in the movie.
There's no timeline for his return, but he's expected to be out for at least the first round of the post-season.
The Raptors have never had that in their lineup for the playoffs before. But the numbers don't lie. Los Angeles has now missed the playoffs for six straight seasons.
The Raptors are not IN, but the same problems that Orlando gave IN in that game I saw a few weeks ago, are the same issues that Toronto will be faced with IN this series. If he re-signs with Charlotte, they will try to build off of this season and get into the playoffs next season. The 3rd year player who led the "bench mob" last year for the Raptors has become one of the most entertaining players to watch, becoming a favorite to win the Most Improved Player of the Year Award. Leonard (with 75 post-season appearances) and Green (with 100) both are National Basketball Association champions, cornerstones of some of San Antonio's finest post-season moments.
Clifford shrugged off questions Tuesday about resting players or altering the rotation in the final game before the playoffs.
The Hornets won 36 games last season, so with 39 wins this season, they made a three-win improvement.
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is the leading candidate for the Most Improved Player award, but he has already received recognition that means more to him.
Another thing the Magic will have to do, which they have been able to do in previous games against the Raptors this season, is contain Raptors all-star forward Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging 27 points and seven rebounds per game.
Johnson first assumed the role as president of basketball operations in February 2017. He was the Raptors' GM under president Masai Ujiri before being hired by the Magic in 2017. This season was his first that didn't end in the playoffs. It virtually started and ended with them. Not many forecast the Magic to make the playoffs, and now that they have, pretty much nobody is giving them a chance against a loaded and experienced Raptors team.