Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors Preview
Wizard’s 18-25 vs Raptors 32-12
When: Sunday, January 13th, at 1 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington, SNO / Radio: 1500 AM, Sportsnet 590 The FAN
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Day to Day/ Back), John Wall (Out for the season/ Haglund’s deformity and chronic Achilles tendon injury), Markieff Morris (Day to Day/ Stinger,Neck Stiffness),
Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas (Out, Thumb), Fred VanVleet (Day to Day/ Hip), CJ Miles (Day to Day/ Right Hip), Patrick McCaw (Day to Day/ Just Signed)
113.0 - points per game
116.3 - points against
46.6 - Field goal %
113.4 - points per game
107.8 - points against
47.4 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Aggressive Sato: is a must. Coming off his first career triple double of 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assist in a Wizards win over the Bucks Friday night, Satoransky was aggressive from the opening tip. The results were big time. With teams looking to double Brad Beal early and often, no one can afford to be passive and sit and watch him try to make something happen every time in that situation. Sato’s ability to score using his runner/floater, spot up three point shooting, in transition where he is fully capable of putting opponents in the basket, opens things up tremendously for Beal and the Wizards overall due to teams having to adjust who they send to double Beal. Yet, when a defender cuts off Sato, he is a very good playmaker as well.
“He plays the right way and he cares, and he wants to get better and he has never given our coaches any problems,” Washington head coach Scott Brooks said. He goes out there and competes and he plays, and he deserves these extra minutes.”
For Washington to make it six wins out of their last eight games, Sato has to continue being aggressive on both ends.
Wizards Three Point Shooting: After being among the worst teams in the league shooting from beyond the arc, Washington have been blistering hot over their last three games. Over that span, the Wizards is shooting 48.9 percent from deep including making a franchise record 18 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting in a win over the Bucks Friday night. Washington’s front court of Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green and Thomas Bryant shot a combined 11-20 from three point territory. As the saying goes, “you’re either hot or you’re due,” and Washington was overdue for their three point shooting to get on track. This will be key this afternoon in a battle with the top seed Toronto Raptors who brings a top 10 defense, holds opponents to 106.7 points per game. Toronto is athletic, versatile and have a lot of length. Three point shooting will be needed to keep them honest this evening.
Intensity on defense equals turnovers: Washington’s defense has improved tremendously over the last eight games or so. Guys are taking it personally when they are scored on, however, another positive element has emerged from Washington’s swarming defense. Points off turnovers. Washington averages 18.5 points off turnovers, which ranks 5th in the NBA. Only four teams (Kings, Thunder, Pacers and Celtics) are better. That’s a huge amount of points and shows the Wizards are alert and active on the defensive end. This will be key as the Wizards continue their push back into the playoff race.