After a thrilling win against the New York Knicks, the Toronto Raptors are back in action Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards. Currently, the Raptors are on a four game winning streak and have not been defeated since returning from the All-Star break. Washington on the other hand, is coming off of huge win against the Golden State Warriors. Although the Wizards will be playing in the second game of a back-to-back, they should not be taken lightly. Toronto currently sits a game back of the Wizards for third place in the Eastern Conference. Wednesday game will almost certainly have a playoff feel to it.
DeMar DeRozan will look to bring his hot scoring touch into Wednesday’s contest. In Toronto’s victory against New York, DeRozan scored 37 points and added 8 rebounds. It is also worth noting that DeRozan played in 37 minutes. With Kyle Lowry injured, DeRozan did exactly what he will need to do moving forward, take-over and win Toronto games. PJ Tucker also played some extremely impressive defence. Tucker made many key stops for the Raptors down the stretch which, were key in Toronto erasing a large deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
The Washington Wizards come into Wednesday’s game after a statement win. In their win against Golden State, every Washington starter scored in double figures. Bradley Beal lead the way for the Wizards scoring 25 points. Markieff Morris scored 22 points as well. John Wall only scored 12 points against the Warriors however, he could be the “x-factor” in Wednesday’s game. Last time these two teams faced off, Wall had 33 points. Expect the Wizards to take full advantage of Kyle Lowry’s absence
Expect the Wizards to also try to lock DeRozan down early and, often. Currently ranked 10th in the league in defensive efficiency, the Washington Wizards are one of the best defensive teams in the Eastern Conference. Fortunately for Toronto, Serge Ibaka, PJ Tucker and, DeMare Carroll are also playing stellar defence as of late. For the Raptors to beat the Wizards, it will need to be all hands on deck. Everyone will need to step up on offence and defence.
Wednesday nights game will mark the beginning of a two-game home and home series between Toronto and Washington. Previously, Toronto beat Washington by a score of 113-103. At the time, the Wizards were off to an 0-3 start to their season. Much has changed since November for both sides. Wednesday’s contest will be crucial for the Raptors. Sweeping the upcoming home and home series would also put the Raptors back into third in the Eastern Conference. Game two between the Toronto Raptors is set for a 7:30 PM (Eastern) Tip Off.