Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors Preview
Wizards 0-1 vs Raptors 2-0
When: Saturday, October 20, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBA TV/ NBC Sports Washington / Sportsnet 590 The FAN/ Radio: 1500 AM
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Game Time Decision, Buttocks)
Raptors: Delon Wright (Game Time Decision, Adductor Strain )
112 - points per game
113 - points against
46.9 - Field goal %
114.5 - points per game
102.5 - points against
47.8 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Kawhi Leonard: The question coming in to the season, once DeMar Derozan was traded to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard was could Leonard regain his All NBA form. The answer is a definite yes and then some. Leonard is playing at a MVP level, currently averaging 27.5 points and 11 rebounds on 40 percent shooting from the field, 37.5 percent from deep and a career high 93.3 percent from the line. Leonard is playing flawless basketball. Washington wings will have to be on their job all game to not only contain Kawhi offensively but to make plays against him on offense, which is difficult to do consistently against the two time NBA Defensive player of the year.
Rebounding: In the loss to Miami, Washington was dominated on the boards 55-40. In fact, the game winning lay-in from Kelly Olynyk, came off an offensive rebound. If Howard suits up for his first game as a Wizard it will help a great deal, however, he can’t rebound alone. The Wizards will have to keep Toronto’s front line off the boards as a group. Along with Leonard, 6’9 Pascal Siakam, 6’10 Serge Ibaka, 6’8 OG Anunoby and 7’0 Jonas Valanciunas are all capable rebounders. If the Wizards don’t control the boards, it will be a long night at Capital One.
Defend the Three: Raptors have a myriad of shooters and are currently shooting 39.7 percent from deep, which is top 10 in the league. Washington defended well against Miami overall, holding the Heat to 39 percent shooting from the field, yet, they allowed Rodney McGruder and Josh Richardson to shoot 42 and 45 percent from deep respectively. The Raptors have FIVE players shooting 37 percent or better from three point range. Along with Leonard's 37 percent, Serge Ibaka is shooting 40 percent, Danny Green and Norman Powell both are shooting 50 percent, add in Kyle Lowry who’s shooting a ridiculous 72 percent from deep and you realize how potent this Raptor team is shooting the ball. Washington will have to be on a string defensively all night running the Raptors off the three point line to give them a good shot at winning.