Game Day: Raptors vs. Wizards
Jay Satur - Raptors.com
The Raptors aim to start a season with a fifth win in six games when they open a franchise record seven-game home stand against the Washington Wizards (4-1) tonight (7:30 PM ET, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet 590 The FAN).
If two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference squaring off isn't enough for you, tonight is the first of seven Raptors 20th Anniversary Nights this season. Alumni Antonio Davis and Alvin Williams will be in the house tonight, Skee-Lo's performing at halftime, all fans in the building receive a limited edition purple t-shirt and speaking of purple, the team's original purple "dino" uniforms are back...
Update - 12:30 PM ET
According to head coach Dwane Casey, the status of both Jonas Valanciunas (right hand contusion) and Amir Johnson (sore left ankle) remains questionable for tonight. Both will undergo tests this afternoon and will be game time decisions. Follow @Raptors on Twitter for updates closer to to tip-off.
Projected Starting Lineups
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Patrick Patterson (F), Tyler Hansbrough (C)
Wizards: John Wall (G), Garrett Temple (G), Paul Pierce (F), Nene (F), Marcin Gortat (C)
Raptors: Amir Johnson - Sore left ankle (questionable), Jonas Valanciunas - Right hand contusion (questionable)
Wizards Bradley Beal - Fractured left wrist (out), Martell Webster - Back surgery (out)
Raptors (Game Notes)
The Raptors have thrived at the free throw line through five games with their starting backcourt leading the way. Guards DeMar DeRozan (9.4) and Kyle Lowry (9.2) currently rank fourth and tied for fifth, respectively, in the NBA in free throw attempts per game.
Minimizing mistakes has been a big factor in the Raptors' start. Toronto has now recorded 10 or less turnovers in every game this season - tying the longest streak in team history set back in April of 2010. The Raptors had a +21 (7-to-28) turnover differential in Wednesday's road win vs. the Celtics -- which set a new single-game franchise record.
In the "very likely unsustainable" category: the Raptors have won all three games in which allowed they have allowed opponents to shoot 50 per cent or higher from the field this season. The Raptors enter this game ranked 29th in opponent field goal percentage (.500), but they've been much better in the fourth quarter, where they've held opponents to .407 (33-for-81) shooting.
- Speaking of 4-1 starts, the Wizards are off to that same record to start the season, which also hasn't happened in a while. It last occured in 2005-06, when they got out to a 5-1 start.
- Should be an outstanding point guard battle tonight, with John Wall looking to extend his great start to 2014-15. Wall is the only NBA player averaging 21 points, 10 assists and four rebounds per game and the All-Star put up 31 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals in an OT win on Wednesday. on Monday.
- These are two teams that seem to respond well after halftime. Through their first five games, the Wizards have outscored its opponents 132-93 in the third quarter. The Raptors have outscored opponents 143-115 in the same frame.