The Washington Wizards take on the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Playoffs.
After dropping the last two games to even the series to 2-2, the Toronto Raptors are glad to be back home. After what has been a very emotional week for the Toronto area, Raptors fans will be clamoring for something to cheer for Wednesday night. The Wizards, though, will look to play spoiler and continue their hot play as they travel to the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday to take on the Raptors with a 7:00 pm ET scheduled tip off.
The spread comes in at the Washington Wizards +7 and the Toronto Raptors -7. The over/under for total points scored is set at 216.
In game 4, Bradley Beal and John Wall put on a show en route to delivering a victory for the home team. Beal scored a team high 31 points, shooting 10 for 19 from the field, including a ridiculous 5 for 7 from behind the arc. Also playing solid in the game, especially after Beal had fouled out, was John Wall. He scored 27 points and added 14 assists. Speaking of assists, the Wizards are currently second in the playoffs with an average of 26.8 assists per game. Besides these two, the Wizards also got solid contributions from Otto Porter Jr. (12 points, 6 rebounds), Marcin Gortat (12 points, 6 rebounds), and Kelly Oubre Jr. (10 points, 5 rebounds). To combat the Raptors, though, it is really going to come down to the play of Beal and Wall and whether they can carry the 8th seeded Wizards to a road victory.
The city of Toronto is certainly looking for something to cheer about and DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors are looking to be that thing. After dropping game 4 on Sunday 106-98, the Raptors are hoping that home court advantage gets them back on track. In the game on Sunday, DeRozan led all scorers with 35 points. Despite being the high scorer, he wasn’t overly efficient as he shot just 34.5% (10 of 29 from the field). While he has been streaky at times this series, he is still capable of putting a team on his back and taking over. In the game on Sunday, he also added 6 rebounds and 6 assists. The biggest issue for the Raptors is finding support.
In the game on Sunday, Kyle Lowry added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, but there wasn’t much else from the lineup. Jonas Valanciunas added 11 points and Jakob Poeltl had 10, but DeRozan is having to take on a lot of the burden. If DeRozan can be more efficient, or if the Raptors can find more support, they will be tough to beat Wednesday, especially playing in front of their home crowd.
Another thing that the Toronto Raptors have to clean up is their turnovers. In both games 3 and 4, they had a whopping 18 turnovers each. Facing a team in the Wizards that will make them pay for turnovers with easy buckets, this is a number they have to cut down. If they can do that, they will likely take a 3-2 lead back to Washington for Friday’s matchup.
I am all about the point spread in this one. I actually think there is a good chance that the Raptors win this game straight up, but with as well as Bradley Beal and John Wall have been playing, I think they keep it close throughout. They might actually take this one straight up, but I definitely like their chances with +7 points. Take the Wizards +7.
If betting the over/under, I like the over in this one. The Raptors were 4th in scoring this year at 111.6 points per game and Washington came in just under 107. I think the Raptors are re-energized at home and put up a good showing, and as I mentioned earlier, I think the hot play of Beal and Wall keep them going stride for stride with the Raptors. Ultimately, I think this is a high scoring contest. Take the over.