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Toronto Raptors At Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 38 Open Thread

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The Essentials:

Raptors (13-26) at Wizards (10-27)
7 p.m.
Verizon Center
TV: CSN
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Tonight's Starters
Wizards vs. Raptors
John Wall PG Jose Calderon
Nick Young SG DeMar Derozan
Rashard Lewis SF Linas Kleiza
Andray Blatche
PF Amir Johnson
JaVale McGee C

Andrea Bargnani

First, an injury update: Andray Blatche and Nick Young are both in the lineup tonight. Josh Howard will be reevaluated on Monday.

After a night in which the Wizards allowed Kevin Love to get whatever he wanted from the perimeter, the Wizards face a team that starts two guys who can light it up from outside. The first time the Raptors journey to D.C., the Wizards enjoyed one of their few blowout of the season as Bargnani was rendered ineffective by McGee. The Raptors repaid the favor in Toronto with Bargnani and Sonny Weems doing most of the damage. The game also saw the start of a worrisome trend in regards to John Wall's defense as Leandro Barbosa got by the rookie point early and often. Barbosa, formerly the fastest man in the NBA prior to Wall's arrival, is a good example of a player who uses his speed but remains in control. Of course, Barbosa won't play tonight, but Jose Calderon is still crafty.

Bargnani, though, dominated Flip Saunders' pre-game remarks. The coach admitted that the Wizards' big men need to be disciplined enough to guard face-up big men like him, especially in transition.

"You change some of your pick and rolls," Saunders said. "The thing those guys do a lot, like Kevin Love, is they get their threes in transition. It becomes tough, because sometimes, players are inbred to run into the paint. That's why you see Rashard [Lewis] get open shots, because people run into the paint and don't find him. So it's a concentration level with him. It's something that veteran players -- like a Kevin Garnett -- who have been in the league so much can make that type of adjustment and be able to turn it on that way and change how they play somebody."

Saunders also talked a lot about John Wall, but we'll talk more about that after the game.

GO WIZARDS!

-Mike and Sean