Washington Wizards G John Wall didn’t have his best game on Friday, but it’s hard to complain about a guy with 15 assists.
Toronto Raptors vs Washington Wizards Game 3: NBA preview and prediction
(Video) NBA Playoffs Highlights: Washington Wizards go 2-0 up on Toronto Raptors
(Video) Greivis Vasquez buries the three to force overtime for Toronto Raptors
The Washington Wizards host the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of the First Round of the NBA Playoffs with a chance to sweep the series and advance to the next round.
Thus far in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the Wizards are the only team in the Eastern Conference to win both of the opening road games, and with a home win on Friday became one of the many teams to find themselves up 3-0 in their opening series. Though their wins have been much narrower than teams like the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers, the Wizards have been no less impressive in their ability to pull the wool over the Raptors and find themselves poised to be the only bottom four team in the Eastern Conference to make it to the next round of the playoffs.
The key to the Wizards’ success has been a combination of great ball distribution between F Paul Pierce, C Marcin Gortat, and G Bradley Beal – all of whom have scored 20 points at least once in each of the first three games. All-Star G John Wall has been leading the team in assists the entire way and has 32 of them over the last two games. Wall’s shooting has been off though as he went 5-of-15 on FGs and 0-for-3 on three-point shots during the Wizards’ Friday’s 106-99 home win – but he made up for his disappointing shooting with an impressive performance from the free throw line, going 9-of-10.
Despite several big performances by Toronto G DeMar DeRozan, it hasn’t been enough to make up for some truly terrible shooting by fellow G Kyle Lowery. In Friday’s game, Lowery went an embarrassing 5 of 22 on FG attempts and missed seven of his ten 3-point attempts. Granted, DeRozan has also had serious accuracy problems as well – his 18 missed FGs were nothing to celebrate either. But good minutes and decent accuracy by F Amir Johnson has allowed the Raptors to keep their games close, and a strong performance by Johnson in Game 4 could help the Raptors avoid the sweep.
Prediction: Toronto Raptors win Game 4, avoid sweep – It’s hard to imagine the Wizards having enough firepower to pull off two straight strong performances like the one they had on Friday, and it’s equally hard to imagine Toronto playing as poorly as they did twice in a row. Look for Amir Johnson to have a big game and Kyle Lowery to get out of his slump as the Raptors avoid the series sweep.