No one wants to be the first team to lose to a team that is struggling. The Raptor at 4-5 need to be on high alert as they hit Washington D.C to take on the 0-8 Wizards. There are not to many teams the Raptors can say they have more talent than in the NBA. But the Wizards might be the exception to that. John Wall is great and all but when you look beyond him you do not see a lot of people that can score a ton of points. Who leads this team in scoring? Nick Young is the answer with just 15.4 points per game. What the Wizards do have is some shot blocking in the form of Blatche and McGee. But what they have most of all is desperation and that can be a positive and a negative. The positive is the Wizards lack the true confidence it takes to win. The negative is they are doing anything they can to try and win just a game. Raptors had to work extremely hard to beat Minnesota at home last night and the tank may be a little empty tonight. Andrea Bragnani played 45 minutes last night and might be at the top of that list.
3 Points for Wiz and Raptors:
Strong Starts On Both Ends- When you play a losing team the key is to make them give up. How best to accomplish that is fast starts in the first quarter, 2nd half and 4th Quarter. These are key points in any basketball game and if you can jump on the Wizards at these points they may just accept their fate. Let them build confidence and hang around and you have a fight on your hands.
Attack Attack Attack- The best way to attack a shot blocker is take it right at him. Demar DeRozan should leave his 3 point shot in his bag of tricks tonight and slash to the basket early and often. What the Raptors don't want to do his hang outside and take jump shots. Andrea Bargnani can help draw bigs out of the paint and clear the runway for himself to drive or others.
Make Wall a Scorer- John Wall wants to get others involved. So don't let him and force him to be the scorer and not the distributor. If John Wall is taking more jumpers than driving and kicking the odds the Raptors are winning is increased by a large degree. So back it in even use the zone more than normal and dare Wall to beat you as shooter.
Obviously the Raptors will need some people to step up. Ed Davis, Demar DeRozan, Barbosa all can make this easier if they can contribute something on offence in this one. These are two teams that at times are challenged to score. But the challenge for the Wizards to score is far greater. If the Raptors can score 90 points and play defence to the level they have been that should almost guarantee them a 5-5 record and 0-9 record for the Wizards.