Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Ed Davis, Aaron Gray
Washington: John Wall, Nick Young, Rashard Lewis, Jan Vesely, JaVale McGee
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani is expected to be out until at least early February, while Linas Kleiza is probable and Leandro Barbosa are questionable for tonight.
Washington: Andray Blatche and Ronny Turiaf are both out.
“Yay! A team we can actually beat!” say hopeful Raptors fans. Hold your horses, now. Who will be the most talented player on the Air Canada Centre floor tonight? John Wall, obviously. Who will be the second-most talented player? JaVale McGee, without question. Third most talented player? I’ve gotta say Nick Young. You get my point, I think.
The Wizards are a bad basketball team — that is not in dispute. But they have talented players and they can be dangerous when they actually play like a team — such as on January 18 when they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder. They only have three other wins this season — two of them were over the Bobcats and the fourth win was a 15-point triumph over the Raptors when Bargnani was playing.
There’s also the fact that the Raptors’ two previous losses were by an average margin of 29.5 points. They may or may not be the worst team in the NBA when Bargnani isn’t playing, but they most definitely enter into the discussion. This isn’t something I didn’t expect going into the season, so I’m not broken up over it. It certainly doesn’t make the games any easier to watch.
- Fun fact I posted to Twitter earlier today: Andrea Bargnani is third in the league in FG% from 10-15 feet away from the basketball among players who have played at least 10 games and taken at least two field goal attempts per game from that range.
- Speaking of Twitter, TheScore’s brilliant and charming Digital Analyst, Christine, pointed out to me this afternoon that @NBA was following me but I wasn’t following them back. I immediately rectified that horrible oversight, and I can’t explain how that happened. And yes, this is a gruesomely blatant humblebrag.
- Believe it or not, theScore receives complaints like these ones all the time. OK, they’re technically email complaints, but still…