- Raptors look to take a stranglehold of the series with Game 3 win
- Beleaguered Wizards try to regroup to get back in series
- DeRozan dominating Beal in shooting guard battle
It’s situation critical for the Washington Wizards, who hope a return home might change their Eastern Conference First Round series fortunes against the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.
After winning their first Game 1 in a first round, Toronto upped the ante and dominated the Wizards in Game 2, securing their first ever 2-0 lead in a playoff series. As was the case for much of the season, Toronto was paced by all-star DeMar DeRozan.
Meanwhile, the Wizards appear to be in disarray. There aren’t enough players competing at a top level. You can’t however, say that about John Wall. After a 15-dime performance in Game 1, Wall poured it out in a losing effort in Game 2.
But you can’t say the same for his all-star backcourt mate Bradley Beal, who’s literally been a non-factor so far in this series. Beal, thoroughly outplayed by DeRozan in two games, scored just nine points in Game 2.
He was just one of a few Wizards no-shows. Marcin Gortat has been played off the floor. In Game 2, he logged just 12 minutes and went scoreless, far fewer than the 14.7 points per game he averaged in the regular season.
Toronto Raptors vs Washington Wizards Team Stats
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|48.6||Points In The Paint||42.4|
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|April 17 – Playoff||TOR||113-103||TOR|
|April 14 – Playoff||TOR||130-103||TOR|
|Mar. 2 – Regular Season||WAS||102-95||TOR|
|Feb. 1 – Regular Season||WAS||122-119||WAS|
|Nov. 19 – Regular Season||TOR||100-91||TOR|
|Nov. 5 – Regular Season||TOR||107-96||WAS|
Notable Injuries and Absences
|Fred VanVleet (shoulder): PROBABLE||No injuries|
Straight Up Advice: Raptors (119-113)
The Raptors are getting it done across the board, and well. After two games, seven players are scoring in double digits. But it’s not just that: Washington has six players averaging double digits.
The difference? Just one of Toronto’s seven is shooting under 50% from the floor in the series (Kyle Lowry at 36.8%). Meanwhile, Washington only has three players shooting above 50%, and that doesn’t include Wall (40%) or Beal (39.3%), their main offensive threats.
The Raptors are also getting it done without their third best guard, Fred VanVleet, who’s logged only a few minutes as he’s battling a shoulder injury.
Missing a key cog would have been a death blow to this playoff-fragile organization in years past, but no longer. There are plenty of capable Raptors ready to step to the plate.
Miles is averaging 15 points a game, shooting 60% from the field, and an even hotter 61.5% from beyond the arc.
Guys like CJ Miles, who’s seen an uptick in his minutes and has delivered. Miles is averaging 15 points a game, shooting 60% from the field, and an even hotter 61.5% from beyond the arc. Or Delon Wright, who has slid into that third guard role, and put up 14.5 points and 3.5 assists on an efficient 52% from the field.
This series is far from over, but because of Washington’s inferior lineup from top-to-bottom, they’re going to need to have Wall and Beal play up to their all-star level, to at least give them a chance.
Expect them to deliver in Game 3, but it might not be enough. Toronto keeps a high level of play from starters down to the 13th man, and that’s too much for the Wizards to absorb.
|Toronto is 25-16 SU on the road||Washington is 23-18 SU at home|
|Toronto is 7-3 SU in its last ten games||Washington is 2-8 SU in its last ten games|
|Toronto is 7-7-0 SU as underdog||Washington is 28-24-0 SU as favorite|
|Toronto is 31-28-1 ATS after a win||Washington is 19-20-1 ATS after a loss|
|Toronto is 45-38-1 ATS this season (54.2%)||Washington is 37-46-1 ATS this season (44.6%)|
|Toronto is 22-19-0 ATS on the road||Washington is 16-24-1 ATS at home|
Additional SU Picks (April 20th)
Two other series’ will shift venues, including LeBron James and the Cavaliers trying to regain home court advantage against the Pacers
|Cavaliers vs Pacers – Game 3||Cavaliers|
|Celtics vs Bucks – Game 3||Bucks|