Toronto at Washington
Time: 5 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: TOR -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Washington Wizards came back to win Game 3 on its home court and pull the series to 2-1 Toronto. The Raptors are still 1.5-point favorites in Game 4. The game tips off at 5 PM (Central) on TNT Sunday, and has an over/under set at 218 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes. The first three games have had point totals of 220, 249 and 225— again, all three games going over the point total set for Game 4.
The Wizards have been playoff fodder for years, but similarly, Toronto has yet to make a deep run with its current core. The difference for the Raps thus far has been that Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have, indeed, been playing great basketball. The backcourt combined to shoot 16 of 38 from the field in Game 3, but Washington’s backcourt bested it with John Wall and Bradley Beal combining to shoot 22 of 42 and manage 28 points apiece. Wall also had 14 assists, six rebounds, and four steals, while Beal came up with three steals, as well. In Beal’s 39 minutes of court time he posted a +19 plus/minus, and the Wizards shot 55.3 percent from the field while turning the ball over only 11 times (with 29 team assists!).
The Wizards can be this good on occasion, but there is a good reason for the NBA keeping its playoff-format as series as opposed to single games like the NCAA. That is to say, over a seven-game series, Lowry and DeRozan are simply better than Wall and Beal, and that does not even take into account the rest of the Raptors team, which is deeper and stronger than Washington, a team sporting one of the worst second units in the league, never mind the playoffs, of which it is definitely the worst.
In Game 3, the Wizards did get 12 points from Kelly Oubre Jr and 12 from Mike Scott, but the rest of the contingent was good for close to nothing. Alternatively, the Raptors bench had an off night of its own, with sharpshooter CJ Miles connecting on just 2 of 7 and Delon Wright going 2 of 8. That simply does not happen that often, and the Raptors also turned the ball over 18 times (while accruing 20 assists).
Everything about the performance from its bench was flukily bad, as the Wizards were just as flukily good. We expect the Raptors to have a game more like its first two in Toronto and take a 3-1 edge in this series before closing it out in Game 5 at home. We simply have never been high on Washington, and Wall is wasting his career with a front office unable to secure him the help he needs to win a playoff series.