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The Raptors look for a fifth straight win as they visit the improved Wizards in Washington tonight.

Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: Sportsnet

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Washington: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor

Injury report
Toronto: Linas Kleiza is out
Washington: Cartier Martin is questionable

Random Thoughts

  • I mentioned that the Wizards are improved, and there’s really no denying it. This team was a disgusting 5-28 when John Wall returned to the lineup on January 12 against the Hawks, but the Wiz have gone 10-8 since then, which included wins against Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Chicago, the Clippers, New York, Brooklyn and Milwaukee (their only two “weak” wins in this stretch came against the Magic and Timberwolves, and they won those two games by a combined 42 points). In addition, Washington has won three straight at home and seven of eight games at home since Wall’s return. Is this game winnable for the Raptors? Sure, but no one should be “expecting” an easy night. The Wizards have an explosive offensive backcourt and a formidable frontcourt.
  • While Wall has unquestionably helped the Wizards, there’s no denying that Rudy Gay has been the catalyst for Toronto’s 5-2 run in seven games with Gay in the lineup, even despite his shooting struggles. Not convinced?
  • I’m really interested in seeing what Dwane Casey’s rotation looks like over the next two games against the Wizards and Grizzlies. With this back-to-back being the Raptors’ last two games before the trade deadline, do we see more Andrea Bargnani? Do we see more minutes for some of the smaller role veterans who might be involved in minor trade talks? Does Casey try to see if he can capitalize on Terrence Ross’ confidence boost after his dunk contest win?