Washington at Toronto – Game 2
Time: 6 PM CT (NBA TV)
Spread: TOR -7
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Toronto Raptors won Game 1 by a count of 114-106, behind a surprising 23-point outburst from starting power forward Serge Ibaka, who connected on 8 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 4 from three-point range, as Toronto closed the game with a 28-21 fourth quarter to take a 1-0 series lead.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan both disappointed, combining to shoot just 10 of 26 from the floor, but this is a familiar theme for Raptors fans who’ve yet to see their starting backcourt really play well in the postseason. Without that pair stepping up, however, it is difficult to see the Raptors winning game 2 despite being 7-point favorites by NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Lowry and DeRozan, indeed, have continually melted down in the postseason despite being perennial All-Stars. DeRozan, in particular, was just 6 of 17 from the floor and finished with a highly inefficient 17 points. He did hit 2 of 5 from deep, but that was something of a bonus, as DeRozan is not known for his distance shooting, as one of the last mid-range, slashing 2-guards remaining in the NBA.
Conversely, Bradley Beal and John Wall combined for 42 points but got little help outside of 22 points from starting power forward Marcus Morris. Washington did shoot 47 percent from the floor in the game, but it allowed the Raptors to knock down 53 percent of its shot, which is a pretty good formula for a loss. Nevertheless, Washington can come around and win a road game if it gets more strong play from Beal while the Raptors backcourt disappoints again. That is a theme we predict throughout this series, though the 59-win Raptors should emerge victorious when it all shakes out.
The Wizards also need much more from its poorly performing bench. The Wiz bench shot just 1 of 8 from the floor if Mike Scott is excluded from the picture, but Scott poured in 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting while finishing +6 for his 27 minutes on the court, the only Wizard with a positive point differential. To call Scott the key to this series would be a stretch to say the least, but the Wizards are going to have to get something from offensive standout Kelly Oubre Jr. whose lack of consistency continues to be the biggest knock on his career.
Starting small forward Otto Porter also disappointed in the starting lineup, attempting just seven field goals and finishing with nine points. So, for the Wizards to emerge as Game 2 victors it will require better play from Oubre and Porter, most specifically, while Wall and Beal must continue to put the clamps on the Raptors’ All-Star backcourt.
Though the Raptors are favored by 7, we like the Wiz to sneak an upset here on the road and tie the series up 1-1.