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Wizards vs. Raptors preview: Washington seeks to gain ground in East standings

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors - Game Two Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Game Info

When: Wednesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and the Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: None

Raptors: Kyle Lowry (Out, Wrist)

What to watch for

Can the Wizards seize the opportunity with Kyle Lowry out?

The Wizards and Raptors only play three times this season, and two of them come this week. The timing couldn’t have worked any better for the Wizards after the Raptors announced on Monday that Lowry will miss 4-5 weeks after undergoing wrist surgery.

If Washington can win both games with him out, the Wizards add two games of cushioning between themselves and the Raptors. They would also win the season series against Toronto, which would give them the tiebreaker if they finish with the season with the same record. Conversely, if the Wizards split the next two games with Toronto, they won’t gain any ground on Toronto in the standings. They’ll also lose the tiebreaker, since the Raptors won the first meeting of the season back in November. If they lose both games this week? Let’s not even get into that.

The Raptors aren’t the same team without Kyle Lowry, but they’re holding it down so far without him. They’re 3-0 since he hit the injured list, with home wins over the Celtics and Blazers, and a narrow road win against the Knicks on Monday. So while it may be easier for the Wizards to beat the Raptors without Lowry, it still won’t be cake walk.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Cory Joseph

Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Joseph has been a thorn in the Wizards’ side in the past, and now that he’s shouldering an even bigger load with Kyle Lowry out, he has a chance to do even more damage than usual in this one.