Wizards Host Raptors In Eastern Conference Litmus Test

Wizards Host Raptors In Eastern Conference Litmus Test

Wizards

Wizards Host Raptors In Eastern Conference Litmus Test

Regular Season Game 63
Raptors (43-17) at Wizards (36-26)
March 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM Capital One Arena | Washington, D.C.
TV: ESPN, NBCSW
Radio: 1500 AM
Odds: TOR -3.0

(Photo: Claus Andersen via Getty Images)
What to Watch:
Turnovers
One of the most obvious results of John Wall’s absence has been an uptick in turnovers that has been costly for Washington, especially most recently against Golden State. As Scott Brooks often says, sometimes they have games whith 18 or more turnovers and it essentially not playing offense for a quarter because of the loss of that many posessions without a shot attempt. If the Wizards want a chance against the No. 1 seed in the East, they will have to be disciplined and not make the mental mistakes, which may have been the result of fatigue, they did on Wednesday night. Instead, maintaining strong ball movement is the way to go.

Key Matchup:
Bradley Beal vs. DeMar DeRozan
All-Star shooting guard vs. All-Star shooting always make for entertaining basketball. These two have had numerous battles over the years dating back to Washington sweeping Toronto in the playoffs in 2015 where Beal absolutely locked down DeRozan.
X-Factor:
Battle of the Bigs
In the last meeting between these two Eastern Conference contenders at the beginning of February, Toronto got great production out of Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas. The duo combined for 33 points on 14-of-19 shooting. With Kyle Lowry and DeRozan already hand fulls, Washington needs to limit what the supporting cast can get done in hard to give them the best chance at winning.
Fun Factor:
Getting Great (Mike) Scott Back
Earlier this season, Mike Scott was playing the best basketball of his career. In an eight game stretch in December, the power forward was averaging 15.4 points on 73.6 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 22 minutes of play off the bench. More recently, he has been a bit of a slump. In his last six games, Scott is averaging just 4.8 points on 35.1 percent shooting and 12.5 percent shooting from deep in 14 minutes with the second unit. The hot streak was never sustainable, but he has also regressed below the mean.

Prediction:
Washington plays well, but Toronto’s depth and talent is too much to overcome as the Raptors even up the season series at two.

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