Wizards vs. Raptors preview: Can Washington keep their momentum going?


The Washington Wizards go for three in a row as they face Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors. Here's what you need to know.

Coming off their second win in a row, the Washington Wizards are heading up to Toronto the play the Raptors at home. Toronto's a young, athletic team that can dunk with the best of them, so this should be good one, at least as far as being an entertaining game.

Where and when? Tip off is at 7 p.m. in Toronto.

Are they good? OK is probably more descriptive than good as far as the Raptors are concerned. The team is 5-7 with the NBA's 16th most efficient offense and ninth most efficient defense on a per-possession basis. Assuming the core stays more or less healthy and together, the Raptors should be good for anywhere from 35-45 wins, largely due to the overall talent level of a starting lineup that still doesn't quite seem to fit together.

Who's out? Quincy Acy is questionable for Toronto, while Washington's going to be missing Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton, Otto Porter and possibly Al Harrington.

What are they good at? Creating shots in the half court. While none of them are all that efficient, Rudy Gay, DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry can all create shots almost at will, with DeRozan and Gay in particular excelling at getting off long jumpers. The only problem with this is that these aren't very efficient shots, so Toronto's offense hasn't been all that great. That said, if either Gay or Derozan were flipped for someone who could be a better fit, maybe a three-and-d guy like Nicolas Batum or Jimmy Butler, Toronto would likely become a much better team.

What are they bad at? Making shots. Toronto is only 26th in the NBA in both two-point field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage. All five of the team's starters are good athletes who can finish in the paint and they could all benefit from attempting more shots at the rim and dialing back on the long twos. They're also a long, athletic team that should be difficult to guard in transition, yet they play at the league's fourth-slowest pace, per Basketball Reference.

Who's going to win? Toronto is playing at home and should match up fairly well with Washington, especially with three of the team's four small forwards sitting on the bench. DeRozan and Gay are both big wings who should have little trouble shooting over Bradley Beal and Martell Webster. That said, if Washington can push the pace and force turnovers, Toronto could have trouble keeping up with the smaller Washington wings.

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