Wizards' Shot at Getting Even with Raptors is Within Reach Tuesday

wizards

Troy Haliburton

Monday, April 16, 2018 2:34 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 16, 2018 2:34 PM GMT

Washington looked as inconsistent as they have all year in a Game 1 loss. But considering they played Toronto evenly during the regular season, can they rebound in Game 2?

NBA Tuesday: Wizards vs. RaptorsFree NBA Pick: Wizards +7Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Toronto finally snapped its 10-game losing streak in first-round playoff openers with a big victory over the Washington Wizards. The Raptors pulled out the victory with a dominant fourth quarter, largely sparked by their bench.

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IT’S OVER!

Raptors end 10-game Game 1 losing streak with a victory over the Wizards pic.twitter.com/GwWh5fAadx

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 15, 2018
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Toronto outscored Washington 28-21 in the fourth quarter, with a lot of that damage coming while DeMar DeRozan was on the bench resting. Stepping up for the Raptors in that frame were C.J. Miles and Delon Wright, who combined for 30 points and seven threes to help Toronto break their single-game three-point record with 16 made shots from behind the arc. The Raptors doubled up on the Wizards in terms of points from three-point territory (48-24) and that was a big difference in the outcome.

For Washington, John Wall hit three of his five three-point attempts but struggled to hit the shots that were closer to the basket. Wall missed five contested layups in the game that could have swung the momentum for his team on many occasions, but he clearly is still a little rusty after having missed two months of the season with a knee injury. Wall only played in four of the final eight games of the regular season as he tried to work his way back slowly. Toronto’s game strategy was to force him to have to make highly contested shots at the rim and it worked.

The Raptors were able to barely cover their 7.5-point spread with their strong fourth quarter, pushing the gap of the final score to 114-106. During the course of the regular season, Toronto was 23-19 in home games ATS while the Wizards were 21-21 ATS on the road. Where the Wizards have excelled this season was being a road underdog. Washington amassed a 14-10 record as the underdog on the road this season and should be able to take that knowledge into Tuesday’s game, again as 7-point underdogs on the NBA odds board. How Washington can play the Raptors differently in Game 2 would be for head coach Scott Brooks to rely more on his bench than he did in the opener.

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Back to work. #DCFamily #WizRaptors #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/cUCbGqvlQK

— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 15, 2018
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Reserve guard Tomas Satoransky emerged as one of the Wizards' most reliable players in their rotation, but for some reason he played only 12 minutes in Game 1 after averaging 22 minutes per game during the regular season. Brooks will have to trust Satoransky more because he has proven to be not only a playmaker on offense, but a more-than-adequate defender who can be used to slow down Raptors players on the perimeter and drive them off of the three-point line.

The Raptors will continue to rely on their bench depth as that is what helped them to so much success throughout the season. Toronto played 11 players in the first game and that does not even include Fred Van Vleet, who was out due to a bruised shoulder. Van Vleet will be questionable for Game 2, and his addition would spell a little bit more trouble for Washington. The Wizards will rely on stars Wall and Bradley Beal to play much better than they did in the first game and take it to the Raptors as road underdogs.

With your NBA picks, look for Washington to at least cover the 7-point spread. And if some bettors are feeling super confident, the +260 moneyline bet at 5Dimes is not a bad option, either.

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