The Raptors enter this game tied with Denver and Milwaukee for the best record in the league (12 losses). The Raptors are on a current 4-game winning streak, but have had some struggles on the road, going 4-6 in its last 10 games away from home. The Toronto offense has been nothing short of excellent this year. They currently rank 7th in scoring (113 PPG) and 6th in FG percentage at 47.4%. The defense has been almost as good, only giving up just under 108 PPG. While PG Kyle Lowry has had his struggles this year scoring, Kawhi Leonard has proven to be a great addition, averaging 271 PPG and 7.9 RPG. Lowry has still provided the offense with good passing resulting in 9.6 APG, 2nd best in the NBA.
The Washington Wizards caught a big break Friday night when Milwaukee superstar Giannis was unable to suit up for the game. That made for a relatively easy 113-106 over the short-handed Bucks. It was a very nice home win for a team that is now 5-3 since All-Star PG John Wall went down with an injury. It’s a long way back into playoff contention, but the Wizards are playing well at both ends of the court. G Bradley Beal has really stepped up in Wall’s absence, scoring just under 28 PPG, which is almost 4 points higher that his 24.4 PPG on the season. Beal is also getting good support from a bunch of decent roles players who are taking turns stepping up on any given night.
Prediction: The Wizards are playing hard as evidenced by the team’s recent efforts. They will go as far as the team’s roles players will take them. The Raptors have been struggling on the road and that might be enough to keep this game close. Still, there’s this nagging feeling the Wizards might have a slight letdown after big win over Milwaukee. Play Totonto -6.5 (score – Toronto 113-100)