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3 In the Key: Raptors' Game Day Preview vs. Washington

With March Madness in full effect, tonight's match-up against the Washington Wizards may be the lowest watched Raptors game since they first came into the league.

Nonetheless the game must be played and two teams with a combined 34 wins take the court at the ACC.

What do you think the over/under is on the number of fans that go to tonight's Raptors-Wizards game at the ACC?




Tonight might be the least anticipated match-up of the season as two bottom dwellers face-off.

Add into the equation that the NCAA tournament has been absolutely stellar early and most basketball fans would much rather be watching the tournament from the comforts of their own home/bar.

Just how bad is this game on paper? With 34 wins combined between them, that would only just be good enough to be in contention for a playoff spot.

Yup, these teams have long roads ahead.

Actually if you are a Wizards or Raptors fan, you are probably better off watching the NCAA tournament to get yourself familiar with the top prospects for the 2011 NBA Draft. Both these squads are going to be hoping for the top pick this year helping them in their re-building process.

Of course tonight you have to like the Raptors chances of getting win number 20 on the season.


The Wizards have won ONE game on the road this year.


No matter how you slice tonight's game the Raptors just can't win. If they lose on their home court to the Wizards it might be the absolute low point of the season. If they win, they essentially guarantee that the Wizards have a better chance at top spot in the draft.

Lucky for the Raptors, the Wizards have no need for Kyrie Irving with John Wall in the fold.

Later this afternoon we hope to post the weekly Blogging With The Enemy - but in the meantime here are the three keys.

1. PG Play: The John Wall vs. Jose Calderon match-up is going to be an interesting one. Wall has struggled to shoot the ball with any consistency this year and he is most effective when attacking the rim. On the flip side Jose has a well deserved reputation of being a horrible defender against quick guards. Jose has to go his best to keep Wall on the perimeter to reduce his effectiveness.

2. Attack the McGee: JaVale McGee is far from being a finished product but one thing is for certain - kid can block shots. Early on this week McGee had a triple-double in points, boards and blocks. This does not mean that the Raps should shy away from attacking the paint. To the contrary, the Raps need to attack the rim relentlessly. If it means a few shots get thrown back in their face so be it. If McGee gets in foul trouble things will open up.

3. Protect Home Court: No the Raps have not been very strong this season at home and the low turn out to games is not helping the matter, but to lose this one? The Raps don't have to play great ball to win this won, but they do need to win it. Pride is on the line.

Now - back to the tourney.