Despite the Raptors' largish victory in Game 2 the ever resilient bench got worked and outscored 63 to 41 and the trend continued in Game 3. "But John and Brad are the heads of the snake, and we've got to cut them off". After both of Washington's games have been off to a bad start they might be looking to change their starting lineup. So, one on hand, while the Raptors are probably thinking they have a series lead despite last night's loss, if this playoff series was a set of tennis, we're merely on serve.
"John is going to have to look for him and I'm gonna have to call some more plays for him", Brooks said before the game.
But at least for one night in Game 3, Wall and Beal turned the attention away from Lowry, DeRozan and the Raptors as a whole, and they returned to the form that had them (and others) having visions of Eastern Conference Finals grandeur. The Wizards have gone minus-44 when he's been on the court in this series, which is indicative of how lacking his positive impact has been on the team.
It was the kind of performance that had to be expected from the Wizards.
All players on the Raptors active in game two played.
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After all, it would be interesting to see what Peter's wife - mentioned on his Twitter account - thinks of his new side gig. Unlike the rest of Deadpool's makeshift team of assembled heroes, Peter doesn't possess any powers.
Toronto ranks 11th in second chance points per game (12.8) while Washington ranks 18th in second chance points allowed per game (13.0). When we are into the ball, into our guys on the defensive end, everybody else follows. But he was very much interested in reasserting how important it is for his team to be ready for a significant pushback from the Wizards Friday night on their home floor. In the fourth quarter, the Raptors shut them down after a CJ Miles three point shot gave them energy.
Wizards lineup adjustments - Scott Brooks is searching for answers. "They're going to come out aggressive and come out swinging". And the fact that a newcomer like Lawson is playing significant minutes in the playoffs is telling that he's not quite sure which buttons to push.
Game 4 is on Sunday in Washington, then the series goes back to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday. The Wizards had an easy time of it even with Otto Porter Jr. The Raptors rookie has been doing a completely adequate job wit his role, and the Raptors have obviously benefited. The events galvanized the Wizards into shutting down the Raptors, who had gotten within five points early in the quarter but found themselves down 19 by the end of it.
The Raptors won the series opener 114-106, then took Game 2, 130-119, but expected a fierce fight from a Wizards team that was down 2-0 to Boston in last season's playoffs before clawing back to tie the series. In short, it's hard to figure out exactly which Raptors will step up from game to game. Ibaka would also be a strong option.
"Ain't nobody fighting out here", said Lowry, who had 19 points and eight assists.
Since then, Wall missed significant time with a knee injury, Beal assumed the leadership role in his absence, and towards the end of the season they intermittently reunited and limped to the playoff finish line, with Wall sitting nearly every other game. Past year in the first round, it was all about finally winning a playoff series in under 7 games - much was made about the Raptors' mental fragility in the playoffs, and the inability to put the Bucks away easily perpetuated a long-standing narrative about the Raptors under-performing in the playoffs.