By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
Raptors Flaws Exposed Thanks to 117-106 Loss Against Wizards
Toronto, CA (BASN) –What seemed like a promising night as Toronto Raptors guard Lou Williams was presented with the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award before the start of Game 2 at the Air Canada Centre, quickly turned into a disappointing Tuesday night in the ‘6’.
Everything seemed to be going Toronto’s way; at least it did, during the opening minutes of the game. Toronto got the start they needed as they quickly jumped to a 7-0 lead thanks to DeMar DeRozan and to an impressive Jonas Valanciunas in the paint.
However, Washington’s Marcin Gortat was doing some work of his own, as he was 5 of 5 from the field and kept the Wizards on par with the Raptors.
Though the Wizards were not too far behind, Coach Dwane Casey liked how they came out the gate with a 31-26 lead in the first quarter.
‘We had the pace we wanted,’ Casey said.
However, the tide quickly turned as the third seed in the east struggled to stay afloat during the second quarter.
Toronto’s point guard Kyle Lowry, already with one personal foul, picked up his second and third fouls sending him to the bench at the 9:19 mark.
With Lowry now out the picture, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards would need to capitalize.
And they did just that.
Knocking down a few 3’s and a slam-dunk from Nene, Washington had an 11-point lead at the half and Beal would lead all scorers with 20 points.
‘I thought the change in the game was the second quarter,’ said Casey.
‘They ran us, that was the difference of the game. When they turned on the jets in the middle of the second quarter, knocked down 3’s and saw the 3-ball go in…they got that going and that’s when we struggled. ‘
To the Raptors credit, they managed to put together a run in the third quarter.
Terrence Ross knocked down two triples as he went 3 of 4 behind-the-arc and just like that the Raptors had cut the lead down to 2 points.
However, Paul Pierce, who came off a stellar 20-point performance in game 1, silenced Raptors fans as he nailed a triple of his own. He finished the game with 10 points.
Beal and Wall continued to be thorns for Toronto and combined for 54 points for the Washington Wizards.
‘They made some shots. They shot the shots but made the shots we wanted them to make…that was the difference in the game,’ said Casey.
The Raptors would fall to the Washington Wizards 117-106.
After the disappointing loss, Casey makes a key observation.
‘I see us getting knocked down going to the basket; I don’t see their guys hitting the floor. I see them waltzing in, waving at us and laughing at us going to the basket and I don’t see us knocking…we got to make sure we hit somebody.’
Casey goes on to say, ‘ We got to match their physicality in the paint.’
The Toronto Raptors will try to do just that when they face the Wizards in Washington on Friday for Game 3.
Kyle Lowry – Bruised shin after collision with Washington Wizard’s Paul Pierce. Lowry finished the game with 6 points.
Bradley Beal – Playoff career highs in points (28), FGM (12) and FGA (21).
John Wall – Playoff career high in assists (17).