The Basics: Washington 2-6 (2-2 at Home) Raptors 2-8 (1-1 on this Road Trip)
When Last We Saw Them: We along with Chris Bosh watched a plucky Raptor effort vs the Heat. But down the stretch it was Wade and James minus Bosh that closed the door on the Raptors to earn the 109-100 win. The Raptors were with out Reggie Evans down with the flu added to the list of wounded he already had a problem with his hip. I am not a doctor but safe bet Reggie caught the flu from David Andersen who returned from the flu in that game.
Key Match Ups/ Injuries: This is where we were going to talk about John Wall and how the Raptors might not have anyone to guard him. But as mentioned above that will likey not be a problem as Wall is not expected to play. If that is the case the bang Gilbert Arenas is your point guard and becomes the greatest concern on the floor. On the flip side the Wizards have no on that really can deal with Andrea Bargnani. On of the options might have been Yi but according to Paul Jones via Twitter both he and Wall are out tonight. So we likely seem some new looks for the Wizards. Reggie Evans also missed shoot around and if he doesn't go look for Amir to get the start again. Klezia is also listed as day to day and Weems would get his 3rd straight start if he can't go.
Other Things Of Note: Team that shots the best wins? Very similar FG% for these two teams with Raptors checking in at 44.8% on the season and the Wizards 44.4%. Wizards block shots and average 6.5 per game it is one of the clear advantages they have in this one. Wizards average 21.6 assists a game but with no John Wall they will be hard pressed to match their season average.
Opportunity Knocking: Wall being out and even with him the Wizards are just 2-6. This is one of those game the Raptors should legitimately feel they can win. Same can be said for in Philly tomorrow. Question is will the Raptors bring the effort they had in Florida that was good enough to beat the Magic and hang with the Heat. If the answer is yes there is no reason to not think the Raptors can win not just today but tomorrow too. 4-8 isn't great but it is a lot better then where some might have feared the Raptors could be after this trip. Winning 3 out of 4 on this trip is not only probable but should be expected. But if the effort in not there you can forget about it. The margin for error for the Raptors is slim.