toronto raptors vs washington wizards predictions and preview

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NBA toronto raptors vs washington wizards predictions and preview


 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Washington Wizards make the trip up North to Scotiabank Arena for a road matchup with the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. The Wizards (14-9) are off to a strong start to the season, tied for third place in a loaded Eastern Conference. The Raptors (10-13) have struggled out the gate, but are coming off a 97-93 home win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Toronto opens this game as a slight home favorite.

 

Harrel and Wiz Playing Well

The Wizards posted their third win in four games overall and eighth in 10 contests at home with a 115-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. They followed that up with a loss at home against the Cavaliers. Montrezl Harrell is playing lights out averaging 16.6 points on 65.7% shooting to go along with 8.1 rebounds. The sixth-year Louisville product seems to have found his home in the Nation’s Capitol.

 

Although dropping their last game to Cleveland the Wiz are playing rock solid this season, which is a far cry from their starts over the last several years during a long rebuild. They’re only averaging 106.2 points per game, but have ratcheted up their defensive intensity. Bradley Beal isn’t being forced to carry all of the offensive load, and that’s helped him average over six dimes per game in addition to his 22.7 points.

 

Raptors Defeat Bucks

Fred VanVleet scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Raptors took advantage of Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out with a sore right calf to beat Milwaukee 97-93 Thursday night. Pascal Siakam scored 20 points and Scottie Barnes had 13 as the Raptors won for the first time in four games and snapped a five-game home losing streak, their longest since January 2011. Toronto is an uncharacteristic 3-8 at home this year.

 

 

Nick Nurse’s Raptors have struggled on the defensive end through their first 22 games. They rank 24th with a 110.5 defensive rating and have been routinely abused on the glass. Their defensive rebounding percentage is ranked 28th, with their undersized frontcourt players getting being outmatched. With that being said, Scottie Barnes has shown flashes of his potential. But the youngster needs time, and there will be growing pains for Toronto fans.





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