Three Thoughts: Powell, Davis, and a potential playoff preview
The Toronto Raptors will play a potential playoff preview today when their third seeding game tips off against the Orlando Magic at 8 p.m. ET tonight.
The Raptors will once again be without Patrick McCaw and Oshae Brissett, while the Magic will have to make do without one of their top defensive stoppers, Jonathan Isaac, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Toronto is 17 games up on Orlando and will look to clinch the best record in the Atlantic Division with a win tonight.
Here are three things to look for tonight:
1: Norman Powell
Raptors guard Norman Powell has yet to really get things going inside the NBA's Orlando bubble. He struggled at times in the scrimmage games, shooting just 3-for-13 from 3-point range, and is just 6-for-21 from the floor in the Raptors' first two seeding games.
Prior to the COVID-19 hiatus, Powell was one of the many bright spots for the Raptors this year, becoming a more consistent offensive player and one of the NBA's most efficient scorers. While his slow start isn't much of a concern yet as Powell is still getting to the rim with relative ease, it's something to keep an eye on.
2: Terence Davis
Raptors rookie Terence Davis II hasn't looked particularly sharp on or off the court inside the NBA bubble.
Off the court, Davis has spread COVID-19 conspiracy theories and appeared to be walking around with a hole cut out in his mask. It's something Raptors coach Nick Nurse said the team's management has spoken to him about.
On the court, Davis hasn't made the most of the Raptors' first two scrimmage games with Patrick McCaw out of the lineup. He's had a Net Rating of -38.3 in limited action and hasn't looked sharp at either end of the court.
If the Raptors go up early tonight, it's likely Nurse tries to rest some of his starters, opening the door for some more Davis minutes.
3: Playoff Preview
The Raptors are on the precipice of clinching the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed this week and can do so tonight with a victory and a Boston Celtics loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
With the way things look right now, the Raptors would open their playoffs against Brooklyn, who a half-game up on the Magic. It's possible, however, that the very banged-up Nets fall behind Orlando setting up a repeat of last year's Eastern Conference playoff opener for Toronto.
Considering the way both the Magic and Nets rosters look right now, Raptors fans shouldn't worry too much about who they play in the opener, but tonight's game could be a preview of what's to come.