Well, it was close, at least. The Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors were neck and neck for most of the game, but in the end, the Raptors were just a little better. The Wizards had some empty possessions late and the Raptors were able to do just enough to secure the 104-101 win. Former Wizard Dominic McGuire blocked Bradley Beal's three-point attempt in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
The game was not televised, but here's our best attempt to evaluate the Wizards players.
Trevor Booker: Glenn Consor, on the radio broadcast, said that the game changed when Booker checked in midway through the first quarter. He went right to work, scoring eight points in his first few minutes and providing his usual brand of hustle and muscle. Better yet, in his second stint, he was just as active, tipping in a miss and doing some scoring inside. All in all, he scored 12 points on 6-7 shooting. Every year, it seems like he is forgotten, but every year, he correctly finds a way into the rotation. This year should be no exception.
A.J. Price: Price is known for being a pretty heady point guard that can manage an offense in a pinch, but it's a nice bonus to hear that he hit two three-pointers in the third quarter. If he can hit perimeter shots and avoid turnovers like he did in this game, he will have more success.
Emeka Okafor: It was good to hear Okafor get some things going in the post against rookie Jonas Valanciunas. We all know Randy Wittman's desire to get the ball inside, and while Okafor's moves are mechanical and his passing out of double teams is questionable, he has a pretty good move/counter move combination with his drop step/hook shot combination on either side.
The defense: Consor harped on the Wizards' inability to contain dribble penetration all game, which is especially concerning because the Raptors don't really have an elite driver. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan got way too many layups, and Landry Fields got free on way too many cuts. It's hard to assign blame without really seeing the action, but there's probably enough to go around.
Bradley Beal: He did not get very involved in the game in the second quarter, and he even seemed to struggle on defense. He was thrown out there with a motley-crew unit of teammates, but passivity is his only weakness, so to see him only shoot two jumpers in that second quarter was concerning. He played much better in the second half and ended with double-digit points, but this was his worst pro game by far.
Trevor Ariza: Some missed layups, errant shots and aimless dribbling. Yup, it was a typical Ariza game. On the plus side, he rebounded well (seven boards).
Jan Vesely: Vesely got off to another horrendous start and continued to have issues with fouls, but he seemed a lot better in the third quarter cutting to the basket. He finished in double figures with 11 points and even hit a couple jump shots.
Jordan Crawford: He actually seemed pretty under control early on, especially offensively, where he notched several first-quarter assists. But eventually, in the third quarter, those classic Crawford shots returned. He was just 4-14 from the field, and while he was decent as a playmaker, he has to be more efficient.
The Wizards will next play on Saturday, when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks at 8:30 p.m.