Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, and the Toronto Raptors finished the preseason off at 3-2, as they won both of their home matchups and finally picked up a win on the road. Toronto made some noise early, and they held onto that momentum to take down the Washington Wizards in a preview of the regular season home opener next week.
In a game that didn’t feature the likes of OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet, as they were resting up before the season starts, Toronto’s ragtag group of bench players and secondary scorers kept Wes Unseld Jr. and the Wizards on their toes during most of the first half.
While things started to slip away in the fourth quarter, a parade of players on non-guaranteed contracts like Sam Dekker and Ishmail Wainright fought back, hitting clutch 3-pointer after clutch 3-pointer to help Toronto come out on top by a 113-108 margin.
After ending the preseason on a high note with a victory, which Toronto Raptors players can hold their heads high after their win in DC? Were there any players who underperformed and need to put that game in the past?
Grading 4 Toronto Raptors notables in preseason win vs. Wizards.
Achiuwa came into this game leading the team in rebounds and steals while coming in second behind OG Anunoby. In addition to beefing up those stats with nine points and 10 rebounds, Achiuwa was able to defend guards frequently, and that is a skill very few big men can flex as regularly as he did.
While he didn’t have the most efficient night in the world, as he was 3-9 from the field, he looks like the rebounder and standout perimeter defender that Raptors fans were promised. Achiuwa will be a rotation mainstay this season, and his solid performances down in the post should help him continue to sharpen his iron.
Nine points in 25 minutes might not sound like an impressive game, but this was one of the rookie’s finest showings. The highlight of his night had to be on defense, where he matched up with a player who averaged 30 points per game two years in a row in Bradley Beal and held him without a first-half bucket in 18 minutes.
On offense, Barnes piled up seven assists, and these weren’t just dump-offs in the paint. they were incredibly impressive passes that showed off both his high awareness as a ball-handler and his showmanship flair. Barnes closed out the preseason with an absolutely fantastic game.
Gary Trent Jr.
Trent recorded six rebounds and three steals, showing that he is trying to make strides when it comes to becoming an impact player in more phases of the game. However, Toronto gave him such a huge contract because of his ability to shoot, and he hasn’t done that in the preseason.
Trent was just 4-13 from the field and 1-7 from 3-point range, dragging his preseason clip from beyond the arc below 20%. He’ll figure it out, as we’ve seen him take over games on offense with Portland and Toronto, but his improvements on defense mean little if he puts up subpar nights like this.
One has to go back to Dekker’s college days at Wisconsin to find a game in which he went supernova and couldn’t miss to this degree. Just when it looked like his chances of securing a roster spot were slipping away, the former Rockets first-rounder and Turkish league star uncorked an amazing offensive performance.
Dekker made seven of his 10 shots, including four of his five 3-point attempts, despite only entering the game near the end of the third quarter. His back was against the wall, and he decided to turn into Steph Curry. This may not guarantee him a roster spot, but he could not have played better.