Game Preview: Raptors at Wizards
Toronto Raptors (34-15) @ Washington Wizards (28-22)
When: Thursday, Feb. 1st, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Capital One Arena
Broadcast info: SN1, TSN1050
The Raptors defeated the Wizards 100-91 in their previous meeting, thanks to 33 points from DeMar DeRozan, 12 points from C.J. Miles and 10 points apiece from Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry. In a game that was tied after one quarter, and close throughout, the Raptors finally pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Washington 21-15 in the final frame. The Wizards were led by Bradley Beal's 27 points in the loss. John Wall did not play for Washington because of a sore left knee. The Raptors are 13-3 against the Wizards in the last four seasons.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For Toronto, C.J. Miles is questionable with a sore left knee. For the Wizards, John Wall is out (left knee) and Sheldon Mac is out following left achilles surgery.
Missing Wall: This will be Toronto's third of four meetings with the Wizards this season. The teams have split the first two meetings, with the Wizards getting a victory on the Air Canada Centre floor, before the Raptors defeated them a few weeks later. In each of the first two meetings, Wizards guard John Wall was sidelined (first because of a sore shoulder, then a sore knee).
Big man's game: Jonas Valanciunas had another strong effort in Toronto's victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. The big man posted his team-leading 16th double-double, scoring 18 points to go with 11 rebounds, while shooting 8-for-12 from the floor. Nine of Valanciunas' double-doubles have come in January where he is averaging 13.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game.
Powell stepping in: With C.J. Miles missing Toronto's victory against the Timberwolves with a sore knee, Norman Powell had an opportunity to see more minutes. Coming off the bench earlier than usual, Powell played 20 minutes against Minnesota, scoring eight points to go with three rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot, shooting 3-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Strong assisting: Toronto's Kyle Lowry/DeMar DeRozan All-Star backcourt combined for 17 assists in Tuesday's win. The team as a whole recorded 28 assists, improving to 28-8 when topping 20 assists in a game. Toronto is averaging 23.5 assists per game (12th in the league) after topping 20 assists just 34 times last season.
Injury woes: The Wizards released a statement on Wednesday announcing that John Wall had an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his left knee. As a result, the team said, he is expected to miss six to eight weeks, beginning the rehabilitation process immediately. Hard news for Washington, who lose an All-Star guard averaging 19.4 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.