Stephen Nover Free Wednesday NBA Play

On March 1, 2017, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

Raptors minus 4 hosting Wizards

Great win for the Wizards last night at home against the Warriors.

Unfortunately for Washington it doesn’t get any time to savor beating the best team in basketball. That’s because the Wizards take to the road to meet the hot again Raptors.

Toronto has won four in a row and is highly motivated to hold home-court in this important home-and-away matchup, which resumes again on Friday with the two teams playing at Verizon Center, home of the Wizards.

The Raptors are strong at home as evidenced by their 21-10 record at Air Canada Centre. Washington is 10-15 on the road. The Wizards are 3-7 when playing without rest. This also is their third game in four days.

Guards John Wall and Bradley Beal each logged more than 39 minutes last night. Otto Porter, the Wizards’ third-best player behind the two guards, played nearly 38 minutes. The Wizards needed those big minutes from their key players in their physical, hard-fought, leave-it-all-on-the-court 112-108 win against the Warriors.

When the Wizards nearly upset the Cavaliers at home before losing in overtime on Feb. 6, they nearly were upset by the Nets in their following game. The Nets have the worst record in the NBA by far, but the Wizards just nipped them 114-110 in overtime as 10-point road favorites. The Wizards clearly were coming down from their huge effort against Cleveland, the best team in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors have adjusted to life without Kyle Lowry. DeMar DeRozan has been on fire averaging 37.7 points and shooting 53.6 percent in the three games following All-Star break. Toronto is better defensively and stronger in the frontcourt since acquiring Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline and having power forward Patrick Patterson return from injury.

Toronto has dominated the Wizards winning the past eight meetings. Certainly the Wizards are much improved. They are deserving of respect and major props. However, this is a terrible spot for them and Toronto also is much improved. This isn’t the same Raptors team that was so bad before the break.


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