It’s fair to say that Toronto — no matter the roster or city-wide population mix — will dislike the Washington Wizards. The scars of the 2015 playoffs are long to heal. And of course, a few of the key guys from that debacle are not only still on the Raptors, but also figured in prominently to the collapse. (Also, we’re all still here rooting the team on.)
We can add something else to this equation: the Wizards are largely the same team as they were in 2015, albeit with a few more years of experience under their belts. (Yes, they shed Paul Pierce and Nene, and added Markieff Morris, but the team is still built around John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat. What a motley crew!)
The last time these two teams met was a disaster for the Raptors. It was a fiasco predicted by head coach Dwane Casey, who saw the first home game back from a long road trip as something of a trap. His fears came to pass then, but now things are different. The Raptors are 5-1 since then, and injury concerns aside (Norm Powell is still out; Serge Ibaka is back in), they’ve found some elements that work for them.
Will it be enough to best the Wizards once again? Here’s hoping.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One 3:30pm EST
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
Washington - Tim Frazier, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat
Toronto - Delon Wright (shoulder), Norman Powell (hip pointer)
Washington - John Wall (definitely out), Sheldon Mac