GAME 6: Raptors (3-2) at Wizards (2-3)
April 27, 2018 at 7:00 PM
Capital One Arena | Washington, D.C.
TV: NBA TV, ESPN News, NBCSW
Radio: 1500 AM
Odds: WSH -1.5
WHAT TO WATCH:
After losing to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night in a pivotal Game 5 matchup, the Washington Wizards are now on the brink of elimination. With the season on the line, the Wizards head back to D.C. with the hopes of forcing a Game 7. A major key to accomplishing that goal will lie on their ability to execute their half-court offense.
“We get to caught up in being stagnant … ball watching too much,” Bradley Beal explained after Game 5. With just 21 assists, there were too many possessions on offense where the team failed to execute their half-court offense. The Raptors were a top 5 defensive team in the NBA this season so standing around and watching John Wall or Bradley Beal play one-on-one ball will not get the Wizards far, especially in a Game 6 elimination game.
John Wall vs. DeMar DeRozan
The two franchise guards for their respective teams have spent this postseason proving why they are elite players in this league. During the series, Compton’s own, DeMar DeRozan has displayed his ability to score the ball. DeRozan is averaging 28.8 points in the playoffs which ranks fourth best in the playoffs behind LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and James Harden. On the other hand, Wall has shown that he can do it through scoring and passing by averaging 26.6 points and 12.2 assists, second behind Rajon Rondo, so far this postseason.
Despite the great individual statistics, the only thing that will be remembered after this series is over is whose team advanced. With the series on the line, the better performer of these two, Friday night, will most likely dictate the winner of this ballgame.
Protecting The Rock
The Wizards found themselves up 87-82 with 8:42 seconds left in the game before the Raptors came storming back to finish the game on a 26-11 run. A large part of that had to do with crucial turnovers during crunch time. The Wizards finished the game with a total of 18 turnovers, three of which came during the last eight minutes of the game where both teams were going back and forth. The Wizards are going to need to protect that ball and reduce their turnovers in order to have a chance at winning Game 6.
Home Court Advantage
After Game 5’s loss, Washington’s leader, John Wall, confidently stated that “we love our chances” of forcing a Game 7. This Wizards’ team led by All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal have been down 3-2 before so they know what it takes to force a Game 7. Remaining poised and confident will be the key. The Wizards head back home where they have won 8 straight playoff home games. #DCFamily, if you are headed to the game Friday night be sure to be there on time and to be ready to make some noise!
One thing we have learned from this Wizards team is that when their backs are against the wall, they seem to be at their best. Look for this team to pull off a huge Game 6 victory on their home floor so that they can go back through customs for Game 7 on Sunday.