VanVleet and Anunoby’s Combined 57 Points were Too Much for the Wizards to Handle as they Drop Another Crucial Game
An injury-plagued Wizards team couldn’t handle Toronto’s guard play, dropping another crucial game in the late stage of the season. Toronto’s backcourt, made up of Fred VanVleet and O.G. Anunoby, combined for 57 of the team’s 114 points in their win over the Wizards.
The Raptors were playing a much bigger lineup on Sunday due to injuries to Gary Trent Jr. and Dalano Banton. However, Washington was missing far more with Kuzma, Beal, and Morris all being sidelined in Toronto. Things didn’t look much better as of Monday because Daniel Gafford was added to the injury report and listed as questionable for Washington’s date with the Celtics on Tuesday.
These absences left the Wizards without a traditional point guard in the starting five, opening another door for Delon Wright to see 30+ minutes. Wright, who was coming off a huge 24-point game off the bench in Washington’s win over San Antonio, was quiet despite the larger load. He would score only 5 points but dished out a team-high 8 assists.
In addition to Wright having a long night, Kispert and Avdija were placed in coach Unseld’s starting lineup as well. Kispert, who was coming off a career game, continued to wreak havoc on the offensive side of the ball, scoring 19 points and shooting 45% from deep in the 40 minutes he played. For Avdija, it was a more balanced 15-point, 7 assist, and 9 rebound game.
Without the Wizard’s main scorers, Beal and Kuzma, Porzingis was left alone to carry a heavy load North of the border. He would score 26 points and amass 2 steals, but wasn’t very efficient defensively, only bringing in 6 rebounds and leaving the paint open for the Raptors to record 54 points in the paint.
This obviously wasn’t only Porzingis’ responsibility, but with Gafford most likely not being 100% through all four quarters of the game, Wizards fans tend to turn their head toward the 7-footer.
A couple of Raptors, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl, did this as well, each reaching double figures in the points column and rebounds column. Such play from these two and the rest of Toronto’s starters left very little for their bench, which has former Wizard Will Barton, to do.
The Wizard’s bench, on the other hand, was the complete opposite given the short roster. However, there were promising signals off of Wshington’s bench in Sunday’s game. Johnny Davis, who was the Wizard’s 7th overall pick in the past draft and hasn’t looked like he did in college, scored a career-high 15 points on 5-8 shooting in the career-high 30 minutes he saw on the floor in the loss.
Getting Davis going will be critical for the Wizards moving forward because he is a guy who can get you double-digit points every night, something he did for Wisconsin in his final season there.
Winning will also be a necessity for the Wizards because, with only 7 games remaining in the season, they sit three and a half games behind the 10th-seeded Chicago Bulls for a Play-In spot. Moreover, the road to these wins doesn’t get easier either as they face the 52-win Boston Celtics on Tuesday at 7 pm EST.