Instead the Raptors pushed forward with no one more than Lowry, who shot 31 per cent against Washington and just 21 per cent from three, setting in motion questions about his post-season performance that he could go a long way towards answering with his play beginning in Game 1 against Washington Saturday afternoon.
“I think the biggest thing is starting off on the right foot, protecting your home floor. He’s unbelievable, man”, Ibaka said.
The Raptors’ 7-6 record to close the season is concerning, although Washington (43-39) lost nine of its last 12, including a 101-92 defeat in Wednesday’s regular-season finale against an Orlando team that had nothing to play for.
“I don’t have words to say about (him)”.
The Washington Wizards were in that game until the very end and it actually felt like they had chances to steal it at times, as they had several big leads.
Thanks to the balanced offensive effort, though, the Raptors ended a streak that dated back to 2001. “It’s a journey, it’s a marathon”, Casey said. The Toronto point guard hit two free throws and assisted on a Miles’ 3-pointer to cap a 7-0 spurt for the Raptors. Guys played their role. “For some reason we didn’t lock in those first few minutes”.
The return of Washington guard John Wall will also be an intriguing storyline this series.
Washington’s confidence is a curiosity factor, though it is understandable given they split against the conference’s top team without their best player. In July, they traded for Miles hoping the veteran guard would help speed the transition to a modern brand of basketball. While the Washington Wizards’ backcourt waited, their Toronto Raptors counterparts-Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan-appeared from behind a black curtain. Toronto led by seven after three quarters only to see Miami tie the game: they were outscored 11-4 in the overtime period. Mike Scott and Marcin Gorat added a combined 26 points. Taking the Raptors to cover the spread is the best option in this one. “We got the job done, and it was a good win by us”. Then Miles, who mostly worked from beyond the arc, pulled up in transition to hit his third 3-pointer of the game. That depth, plus home court advantage, works in Toronto’s favor: look for them to take a 1-0 series lead by prevailing here.
VanVleet averaged 18.8 FanDuel points in 20.0 minutes per game this season.
The Canadian outfit boasts the deepest rotation in professional basketball with several bench players who provide starter-level production; in fact, the second unit have outscored their opponents by nearly twenty-five points per hundred possessions.