The Toronto Raptors are hosting the Wizards for the second time in this young NBA season. The first time, the Raptors allowed the Wizards to jump on them to gain a 15-point lead after the first quarter. A lead the Wizards would hold on to until the final buzzer in a 106-97 victory without All-Star John Wall. To date, it’s the Raptors only loss at home.
The Wizards will be looking at Sunday’s game to hopefully bring them back into the winner’s column for the fifth time in six games. Another bonus that could come with winning Sunday is them taking third place in the Eastern Conference from the Raptors themselves.
On Sunday, the Raptors will look to do a better job and protect their home court against an Eastern Conference rival but things are already looking similar to the last time they matched up. John Wall may have to sit out for this contest due to a swollen left knee sustained during the Wizards’ game on Friday versus the Miami Heat. He’s currently listed as day-to-day. When he was asked about his status for Sunday’s game Wall responded, “I don’t know. Depends how I feel tonight and how I feel (Saturday).”
The Raptors also have injuries of their own with back-up point guard Delon Wright currently out with a dislocated right shoulder suffered during Wednesday’s game versus the New Orleans Pelicans. Also, Norman Powell is considered to miss his fourth straight game as he is listed as doubtful with a right hip pointer and Serge Ibaka is listed as questionable with a swollen left knee. On the bright side to the injuries sustained by key rotational players for the Raptors, more depth has been discovered by Head Coach Dwayne Casey who has been forced to extend the minutes for players like Fred Van Fleet, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam, Lucas Nogueira, and rookie OG Anunoby. All of whom have provided valuable, productive minutes these past few games and hope to continue their production beyond when the roster becomes fully healthy.
In the first match up between these teams, Bradley Beal scored 38 points on 16-26 shooting, carrying the Wizards to a victory without the other half of the back court duo. The Raptors ended up losing All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry with around 8 minutes left in that game due to receiving two quick technical fouls. He only played 12 minutes scoring just two points with zero made field goals.
The Raptors are currently on a three game winning streak and sit 5-1 at home. The Wizards are 4-2 on the road with their second road loss occurring recently when they lost to the Heat on Friday.
If John Wall misses Sunday’s game as expected, The Raptors will successfully defend home court with Kyle Lowry using better judgement while arguing with the refs and taking care of the scoring load with his back court brother Demar Derozan. The newfound depth for the Raptors will produce the same way they have been lately as they send the Wizards back on the road to Milwaukee with a second straight accumulated loss.