Whelp, can’t really say we did not see this one coming. We knew going into this, that the eighth seeded Washington Wizards would have a tough time against the number one Toronto Raptors. What we did not know was that Wizards would have the lead for a good portion of the game. Let’s break down the reasons why the Wizards lost.
Perimeter defense: We must tip our hats to the Raptors shooting. As a team they shot over 50% for threes. That is simply ridiculous, it seemed like what ever they were putting up was going in. This is not to say that they weren’t playing smart, they played efficient and got great looks by play and in transition.
Bench Play: The Wizards starters actually out played the Raptors. John Wall and Markieff Morris had 23 and 22 points respectively compared to Serge Ibaka’s 23 and DeMar DeRozen’s 17. Also, Bradley Beal had 19 points. The difference came from the bench, besides Mike Scott’s 17 the Wizards bench contributed seven points. While the Raptors Delon Wright and C.J. Miles dropped 18 and 12 with a combined 7-11 from downtown. When the Wizards bench is not hitting and Coach Brooks only played Tim Frazier and Ian Mahinmi for a combined seven minutes so, Brooks rides the starters longer which makes them more tired and you can figure what happens from that.
Injury Scares: Otto Porter was questionable for the game, but he played and seemed fine even if he only had nine points. However, Morris (whose final line was 22PTS 11REB and 6AST) did hurt his ankle but he did return, and it should not be a problem. John Wall (gasp) clutched his wrist at one point but walked it off (sigh of relief), while neither injuries were significant, they are something to monitor.
What’s Next: If the Wizards are going to take game two they are going to need to wake up their shooting and defense. Game two is Tuesday in Toronto, tipoff at 7:00 PM