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Wizards learn they can't focus on Raptors' star guards

16 April, 2018, 14:34 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • NBA Playoffs 2018: Predictions, Picks for Wizards vs. Raptors

The four all-stars shared daps, hugs and hushed conversations. For a team that had made a decision to revel in the doubts of their detractors, that showed clips of various US analysts criticizing them on the scoreboard before the game began, that said over and over that they were confident this new-look group wouldn't fall into familiar Game 1 traps, there were the Toronto Raptors after two quarters staring at a four-point hole.

Wall scored nine points in the first, but Gortat and replacement Ian Mahinmi each had two fouls before the first quarter was half over.

It's expected for every 8-seed to lose their first game of the playoffs.

"No, I didn't", he said. "He doesn't play in five or 10 straight games, but when he's going to come on the court, he's ready". "So, finally we probably got it, and now it feels great to play on this team".

The defensive ferocity of the reserve line-up, comprising of Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, CJ Miles and Fred VanVleet, could make life miserable for the Wizards who don't have much depth beyond Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre Jr.

Even though Toronto has lost 11 of 12 series openers SU all-time in the playoffs, it has also never been the top team in the conference.

Serge Ibaka powered the Toronto Raptors to their first Game 1 victory in any playoff series since 2001 - when Vince Carter was still with the team.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said the humiliating sweep helped sow the seeds for Ujiri's reset. "They say 'Lucas, go ahead, ' and I just go play". "When people's moments came, people were ready to step up".

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"I think the coaches did a good job of keeping us in the rotation all year whether we were playing 12 guys or not. We have to be able to close out on point, close out on the catch, know who has the ball and which way to close out on them".

The Canadian outfit boasts the deepest rotation in professional basketball with several bench players who provide starter-level production; in fact, the second unit have outscored their opponents by nearly twenty-five points per hundred possessions.

The Toronto Raptors look for another victory to ease some tension and take a 2-0 series lead. A few minutes later, Toronto showed off some impressive ball movement and Wright knocked down an early dagger to give the Raptors a 12-point advantage, their biggest lead of the afternoon.

Miles' second 3-pointer of the quarter put Toronto up 103-96 with just over six minutes to play.

Brooks tried to silence the run by calling a timeout, but by this time, the Raptors' second unit had wrested control of the game.

Thompson found his shot and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots.

The Wright-Miles duo combined to hit seven 3-pointers.

Will the mighty Raptors fall at the first hurdle? That includes a truly ugly run in Game 1's: 11 SU losses in 12 tries as a franchise, including an 0-7 SU and ATS record in Game 1's over the last four postseasons.

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