Wizards Must Improve Upon Game 3's Strong Showing In Game 4

Wizards Must Improve Upon Game 3's Strong Showing In Game 4

Wizards

Wizards Must Improve Upon Game 3's Strong Showing In Game 4

GAME 4: RAPTORS (2-1) AT WIZARDS (1-2)

April 22, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Capital One Arena | Washington, D.C.

TV: TNT, NBCSW

Radio: 1500 AM

Odds: TOR -1.5

WHAT TO WATCH:

Picking Up Where They Left Off

After dropping the first two games of the series in Toronto, it turns out the Wizards just needed to come back to “The Vault” as they dominated the Raptors and defended their house with a 122-103 win.

Everybody ate. The Wizards shot 55.3 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from three. John Wall and Bradley Beal both finished with 28 points. Marcin Gortat finished in double figures with 16 points, while Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre Jr. each came off the bench with a dozen. Everything went wrong in Games 1 and 2 but just about everything went right in Game 3.

Now the Wizards will look to do what they did in the second-round last season against the Celtics by evening the series up at two games apiece. The team looked motivated and locked in during Game 3. If the Wizards play with that same style, that same swagger, they can head back to Toronto with the series a best of three. Head coach Scott Brooks has already challenged his team to not just hold serve from their Game 3 performance, but actually improve on it.

KEY MATCHUP:

Bradley Beal vs. DeMar DeRozan

After a miserable Game 2 that saw Bradley Beal drop just nine points, he felt right at home in Game 3 with 28 points. Beal shot 10-for-18 (52.6 percent) from the field and hit 4-for-9 from behind the arc. 21 of his 28 points and all four three’s came in the first half.

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points on 10-for-22 shooting and only made one of his three three-point attempts, which was a much quieter performance from his 37-point outburst in Game 2. The backcourt battles have been fun to watch and it will be important for Beal to build on his confidence that he gained from Friday night.

X-FACTOR:

Kelly Oubre Jr.

The bench as a whole has been the Wizards’ X-Factor the last two games, but Oubre is the spark plug to that second unit, whether he’s firing up the players from the bench or providing the energy on the court. Offensively, Oubre scored 12 points including 10 in the paint. On the defensive end, Oubre shut down DeMar DeRozan.

FUN FACTOR:

Death Row DC 2.0

One of the notable things we saw in Game 3 was the return of Death Row DC. Things got chippy in the beginning between Markieff Morris and OG Anunoby and there were other occasions of skirmishes throughout the game.

“I think OG (Anunoby) did not know the scouting report because he did not know that Keef is one of the people you do not what to mess with in this world,” Kelly Oubre Jr. said.

Surprisingly while some technical fouls were issued from the scuffles that went on, nobody got ejected from the game. What will act two of Death Row DC bring? Will the Raptors plan to retaliate?

PREDICTION:

Everyone knows the Wizards are very unpredictable. These guys are not your average eighth seed. They tend to play up to their competition when they are facing a good team and play down against teams with losing records. Granted, it is the playoffs and they do not have to worry about the latter.

Many thought the team had lost it after dropping the first two games of this series with forgettable performances from several players. On Friday night, they defended their home court and proved that they are not a team that will not go away easily. I am going to play with house money and predict the Wizards continue their homecourt dominance and win their eighth consecutive home playoff game to square the series at two. See you on Wednesday, Drake.

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