home 2015-16, Blogs, Game Coverage Wizards vs. Raptors Pregame: #TakeTheNorth, Even If It Don’t Count

Wizards vs. Raptors Pregame: #TakeTheNorth, Even If It Don’t Count

wizards_raps

Preseason Game 7

Washington (4-2) vs. Toronto (4-2)

October 23, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Bell Centre, Montreal, PQ
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..well, yeah..

April 26, 2015 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC – Wizards 125, Raptors 94
The Defining Moments of Game 4

CDkTlEAWYAAUD6A


What to Watch:

The Raptors still scarred from last year’s playoff debacle.

Yeah, I get it. It’s just the preseason and the game doesn’t count and when the end result is translated into data in your little box score it’s all about as meaningful as a Pam Gellar tweet. These are clear truisms. But let’s bear in mind that we’re still talking about human beings who have feelings, and they are human beings who have memories that get them deep in their feelings. And a 4-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs by way of a gangbanging 31-point loss will undoubtedly leave a deep wound. Patrick Patterson may be right about a preseason win not doing much to patch things up, but also right is Terrence Ross, who hasn’t forgotten how the Wizards #TookTheNorth.

Anytime somebody beats you 4-0, you remember it. I think we’ll go in there and really play our regular-season style of basketball and play like it’s the regular season.”

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING BOUT GOTDAMMIT!! #TAKETHENORTH!! EVEN WHEN IT DON’T COUNT!


Key matchup:

Kyle Lowry vs. John Wall

Okay so has anyone kept up with Kyle Lowry this preseason? The dude went mad in three of the four games he’s played:

vs. Minnesota: 40 points, 3 assists, 13-18 FG, 6-9 3PT in 28 minutes
vs. Lakers: 25 points, 6 assists, 8-13 FG, 4-6 3PT in 25 minutes
vs. Clippers: 26 points, 2 assists, 7-10 FG in 22 minutes

Unlike Wall, Lowry is clearly a score-first threat rather than a facilitating one. And that’s cool if it makes him and the Raptors happy. The work is cut out for John who has been nothing short of great himself, in his own non-scoring ways. But as one who aspires to be amongst the best of defenders, it’s matchups like these during the regular season Wall will need to conquer. Litmus test, anyone?


X-factor:

Second unit production

This is what I mean:

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The Wizards’ starters had very little issue handling those of the Miami Heat. The second unit? Not so much. But like many John Wall-less lineups, there will be substantive shortcomings. Preseason losses will continue not to matter, the manner in which they are lost do matter. Against the Heat on Wednesday night, the Wizards squandered multiple double-digit leads until losing it permanently late in the 4th quarter. Of course for Miami, having your former Finals MVP and prized 6th man playing until the final buzzer of the game also helps.


Fun factor:

We can keep reminiscing about last year’s first round dominance!

Oooh look at this Wall pass..

Oooh my long live #TheKingOfTheNorth (also, I can never get over Martell’s celebratory jockstrap wave



Prediction:

Kyle Lowry has his worst outing of the preseason. Terrence Ross proves he does indeed remember the assaulting first-round of the playoffs and folds. Anthony Bennett watches a tremendously improved Otto Porter and even he begins to wonder how the hell he was selected before him. Finally, after Washington trounces the Raptors, Montreal basketball fans are no longer jealous of Toronto having an NBA team.

we are Hoop District

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