After facing three straight teams with below .500 records, the Wizards competition gets a little tougher on Wednesday when they head to Toronto to take on the Raptors. Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
Wizards at Raptors
Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
How to watch: NBCSW, MyTeams
What to watch for
A fighting chance? After the loss to the Pistons earlier this week, NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes touched on how the loss further diminishes the Wizards playoff chances. Yet, the Wizards still have a slim chance at making a run, and it starts with picking up a win over a contender in the East.
Road woes. The road has not been friendly to the Wizards this season. As Hughes details, Washington is just 7-22 away from Capital One Arena this season. Now, they’ll be tasked with heading into one of the more raucous environments in the NBA.
Raptors ready for a run. Toronto was already one of the top teams in the NBA this season, but at the trade deadline the team got a little stronger with the acquisition of Marc Gasol. Paired with the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors are gearing up to make a run toward playing in June. The loaded offense could be a problem for the Wizards, as Washington’s defense has become a liability as of late.
Big Picture: Wizards playoff hopes dimmer after loss to Detroit.
Quote of the day:
“It’s totally different,” Bradley Beal told NBC Sports Washington of the difference between the Boston series two years ago and now. “I don’t think there’s anybody … me … Me, John, Sato and Ian. Crazy. That’s crazy. That’s the league. Guys come and go. Especially when we weren’t having that much success after that. Having 49 wins, making it that far — the last year and a half, two years, has been kind of rocky for us. Now, it’s a totally different team. A lot has changed. I’m kind of thrown into a position now where I have to be an ultimate leader. I’ve been embracing it. It’s been a challenge but it’s been fun, too.”
Last time these teams met
When the Raptors and Wizards last met in the middle of January of this year, an instant classic ensued. With 15 seconds left remaining in double overtime, Serge Ibaka drained a three that would be the game winner, as the Raptors escaped with a 140-138 victory.
Bradley Beal led the way for Washington with a triple-double (45 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists) while Leonard dropped a modest 41 points on his own.
Stat to know
The margin in which the Wizards were out-rebounded against Detroit on Monday is -16. The Raptors rank toward the middle of the pack in team rebounding, so Washington will need to make sure that second-point chances come at a minimum.