More than any other team in recent Raptors history — yes, even the Cavaliers — the Washington Wizards remain as something of a franchise boogie man. Some may point to the Nets and their tyranny in two different eras, and some will say LeBron truly looms over all, but in my book it is the Wizards who stand out. It is this core — DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Dwane Casey — that was embarrassed and swept by them. There were a lot of reasons for it, and things are different now, but that doesn’t erase what happened.
Today’s Raptors are a different squad. They still lean on that aforementioned foursome, but they’ve added Serge Ibaka, C.J. Miles, and a group of young players to change up their energy. As we’ve documented over and over again these past few days, the Raptors are built to go the distance now.
All that’s left to ask is: can they? We learned before the game that Fred VanVleet, the great bench organizer, will be out for this game. Meanwhile, for the Wizards, everyone save Jodie Meeks is back and ready. All that’s left to do now is say: let’s watch.
Here’s some pre-game reading from our HQ Round 1 Centre:
- The full-on series preview, with everything to keep an eye on;
- Game 1 preview for Raptors-Wizards, tipping off at 5:30;
- A Q&A with Bullets Forever, our rivals for the next week and a half (or more);
- A series prediction poll — still 30 minutes to vote!; and
- One final reminder: the Raptors are fun, good, and special already.
And here are the updated game details:
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One, 5:30 PM ET
Toronto - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
Washington - John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat
Toronto - Fred VanVleet (shoulder - out)
Washington - Jodie Meeks (suspended), Ramon Sessions (who cares?)
Raptors-Wizards Game 1 pregame show with Sean Woodley and Dan Reynolds. Ask questions in the comments!Posted by Raptors HQ on Saturday, April 14, 2018