The Wizards are an improved team since John Wall’s return to the lineup, but the Raptors beat Wall and the Wiz just last week in Washington. If they want to keep the playoff talk going, they’ll need to beat them again tonight in Toronto.
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Washington: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor
Toronto: Terrence Ross is questionable, Linas Kleiza is out
Washington: Leandro Barbosa is out for the season (the Wizards knew that already when they sent Jordan Crawford to Boston)
- The Wizards continue to play improved basketball after their disastrous 5-28 start. Washington is 12-9 since that start, have won back-to-back games and have taken six of their last eight. On the other hand, the Raptors beat the Wizards on the road last week, have won six of their last seven themselves and will have home court advantage tonight, so while the Wiz should not be taken for granted, Toronto should still be seen as the clear favourite. If there’s another thing working against Washington, it’s that they’ve lost five of six on the road and are an Eastern Conference worst 4-22 away from home.
- While you may not think “defence” when you hear Raptors vs. Wizards, there is reason to believe that tonight’s matchup may be low scoring. The Raptors have allowed just 92.9 points per game over their last 10, while the Wizards held opponents below 100 in 11 straight contests before a couple of defensive letdowns against offensive teams in the Nuggets and Rockets (Washington still won the two games). In addition, the Raptors and Wizards combined to shoot below 42 per cent in their recent meeting. At last glance, the over/under for tonight’s game is 190.5.
- Burning question of the night: Will Kyle Lowry’s plea to fans prove effective in silencing the boos for Bargnani, or will the ACC faithful still let the enigma of all enigmas hear it?