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Season on the line with Game 6 on Friday
The Wizards season is on the line with Game 6 tonight in D.C.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW/ESPNN/NBATV | 1500 AM
Wizards (2-3): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Oubre Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Raptors (3-2): G - Lowry, G – DeRozan, F - Anunoby, F - Ibaka, C - Valanciunas
Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. (Leg - Out)
Raptors: Fred VanVleet (Shoulder - Questionable)
Season on the Line
The Wizards return home for Game 6 trailing 3-2 in the series and will look to avoid having their season end on their home floor. The home team has won every game in this series, which was the same script as the previous playoff series Washington played in last year against Boston. They were trailing the Celtics 3-2 and forced a Game 7 with one of the more dramatic shots in team history when John Wall drilled a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds of Game 6. While the drama of that one would be hard to match in this Game 6, the Wizards would happily take the same result to give themselves a chance to steal a Game 7 on the road on Sunday.
When trailing 3-2 in a series, the Wizards are 6-6 all time in Game 6's played at home and they are 3-11 in any series when they trail 3-2. In both 2014 and in 2015, John Wall and Bradley Beal's first two playoff appearances, the Wizards lost in Game 6 at home to see their season end.
The Raptors are 1-4 all time when playing a Game 6 on the road with a chance to close out a series. One of the knocks on this Raps team over the past few years has been their inability to win a big road game, but they'll try and prove the doubters wrong and do just that tonight.
Otto Porter Jr.'s Status
At Thursday's media availability, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said that Otto Porter Jr. was banged up and dealing with a leg injury. It was then learned later in the afternoon on Friday that Porter will miss Game 6 and the rest of the series and be out indefinitely.
Porter was questionable for Game 1 of this series with a leg issue, but has yet to miss a game in the postseason. He hasn't scored more than 12 points in any of the previous five games and has averaged just eight shots per game, a number the team would like to increase as the series moves ahead. The most likely candidate to take his place in the starting lineup is Kelly Oubre Jr., who started the last game of the season when Porter was out with a leg injury.
The Raptors' Fred VanVleet will once again be questionable for Friday's Game 6, although he has been making progress and returned to practice with the team. He's still day-to-day, but it seems as if a return is imminent and an update will probably be given either at Toronto's morning shootaround or during pregame media availability. With VanVleet out, Delon Wright has stepped up and played a big role for the Raps' second unit. He scored in double figures in all three of Toronto's home games, but averaged just 6.5 points in the two road games.
Home Court Advantage
Home court has played a major role in this series, with both teams yet to lose a game played at home. The Wizards have now won eight straight home playoff games, as they went 6-0 at home last postseason and are now 2-0 in this year's playoffs. Over that same stretch, the Wizards are just 1-9 when playing on the road, a pretty drastic contrast. Earlier this week, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey commented how 'rabid' the fans were in Game 4 in D.C. and how big of an impact they played in helping the Wizards mount a comeback. While the Wiz will hope to avoid needing another comeback to win this one, they'll certainly take another hostile environment to try and help them force a Game 7 on Sunday in Toronto.