The Washington Wizards showed just enough prowess to brush aside a seemingly uninterested Toronto Raptor team. The game featured 3 young players, and their two kids, Bradley Beal and John Wall, were more than enough to overcome another fine game from our Jonas Valanciunas. The Raps had no one with a hot hand, yet hung around even after falling behind by 20 points in the third quarter. They chipped away sufficiently to find themselves down by 6 after Amir Johnson tipped in a missed shot with his left hand. Rudy Gay tried a 3-ball which would have sliced the lead to 3. Although he missed, there were almost seven minutes to play, and a comeback seemed to be in the cards. Instead Washington outscored the hapless Raps 15-4 to win the game going away.
The Raps have struggled all year with poor shooting from distance, and once again it cost them. The Wizards shot two fewer, but made two more, than our team. Beal, who’s all of 19 years old, drained 6 of 9 from distance, often by outracing his defender to his preferred spot in the corner. The brilliant Wall didn’t need to shoulder the scoring load (not that 18 points should be sneezed at), but was happy to dish some fine passes, and ended with 10 assists.
I find myself wondering, once again, if Dwane Casey is getting out-coached. JV had 16 points at half-time, yet his only offensive contribution after that was 2 free throws. Why wasn’t he more involved in the offense? Terrence Ross missed his only 5 shots of the contest, so was no factor, particularly compared to his (draft) class mate Beal. Kyle Lowry hit 3 of 5 from distance, but was an unsightly minus26 for the game. The Raps’ rally, such as it was, occurred with Sebastian Telfair at the point. He managed the most memorable shot in a wholly lackluster Raps effort by banking in a 3-ball from just over the time line at the end of the third quarter. Sebastian ended with 10 points, and was plus9.
The Raps fly home to get ready for the Detroit Pistons. Let’s hope Jose Calderon gives the home fans some memorable moments, even in an opponent’s jersey.
Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.