Perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered anyway and we would have still seen the run off four consecutive victories in this series at some point, but when the dropped Game 1 in overtime, the Raptors’ “it factor” questioned certainly didn’t seem to exist. Ghosts of last year’s playoffs started haunting the Raptors immediately and they hit quicksand almost immediately in Game 2. Once the third quarter of Game 2 was over, the Wizards looked to be going up 2-0 heading back to Washington D.C., the writing was on the wall.
The Raptors didn’t have much fight in them after the first quarter in Game 3 and they continued that punchlessness with the sweep on the line in Game 4. The Wizards dominated them in pretty much every facet of the game throughout this series, controlled the fate of the series the entire time, and ended the Raptors’ season with a blowout victory in Game 4. This is not what the Raptors saw coming back in December, but we’re far removed from those exciting Toronto games.
Here’s what we learned from Wizards-Raptors Game 4, the final game of this series:
In the blink of an eye, is on top of your transition defense, your opposing big men, or your half-court defense you think is set up to slow him down. The tricky part is there is no real way to slow him down unless you pack the paint and force his teammates to be the ones to beat you. The problem with that adjustment is Wall is probably too quick and too smart to just let that happen. He can still overwhelm his opponents and there probably isn’t going to be an opposing point guard you can put on him to stay in front of him.
Throughout this series, Wall was like a tidal wave in an apocalyptic movie crashing the shore lines of defenseless towns, wiping away whatever defense the Raptors had set up for him. The Raptors were already a shaky defense to begin with, so adding the pressure of keeping Wall in front of Neco Williams for his performance against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.Critchley says the right-back was one of the most “dangerous” players on the pitch during the 1-0 victory. “It was a brilliant bit of play [for the goal] but that’s Neco,” Critchthem and out have opened new contract talks with Matteo Guendouzi.Soccerlink reports he is in line for improved terms on his £40,000-a-week Arsenal contract.The French midfielder, 20, arrived at the Emirates last summer for a mere £7million and has already turof the paint was virtually impossible. For the series, Wall finished with 116 points created off his assists, 17.2 points per game, 12.5 assists per game, and he helped shut down for most of this series.
Wall’s a superstar and he’s proving it so far in these playoffs.
It had been a rough one for Kyle Lowry in this series. He went into Game 4 with series averages of 9.3 points (23.8 percent FG, 18.8 percent 3FG), 5.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. The assists and rebounds were right about where he performed against the Nets in the first round loss last year, but the scoring was roughly 12 points per game lower than those seven games. In Game 4, Lowry ended up with decent numbers if you look at the box score without context. He finished with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting (2-of-7 from 3) to go with eight rebounds, four assists, and six turnovers.
In reality, Lowry was just as bad in this game as he was in the previous three contests. He committed three fouls in the first quarter, taking him away from the carnage of what the Wizards were doing to his team until about halfway through the second quarter. He put up some points, but the majority of his minutes in this game ended up being meaningless. He was a part of a perimeter attack from the Raptors that failed all series but put up some window dressing in the final box score of the series in this blowout loss.
We don’t know if Masai Ujiri will tear this roster apart this off-season, just make a coaching change, or try to figure something else out, but this team had only one meaningful victory in the final 65 days of their regular season.
Such a free fall: The Raptors only beat one winning team (vs Rockets end of March) in the final 65 days of their season (Feb 21-April 26).
— Jimmy Spencer (@JimmySpencerNBA)
I just hope Drake hasn’t moved on from this team…
Wall wasn’t the only one playing well for the Wizards in this series. Even though it ended up being against an opponent they made look really awful, the Wizards’ secondary and complementary players all played themselves into a fantastic rhythm in this series. his season.After a strong start to the campaign, the Portuguese attacker has been sidelined for several weeks with a calf injury.”I think he will,” Bull told the Express and Star when asked if Jota will bounce back.”He has been a bit hot and cold latThat’s extremely important moving forward for building confidence and continuity for the second round when they likely face the Atlanta Hawks.
averaged 20.7 points, 4.0 assists, and 5.2 rebounds. He may have even found his 3-point stroke in the Game 4 victory over the Raptors.
dominated the Raptors’ interior and made himself look like one of the top 10 centers in the league, hands down. Paul Pierce turned his psychological warfare into a weapon on the court the Raptors couldn’t stop. came off the bench to be the player Pierce says he can be. Nene battled with scoring and rebounding, and the rest of the Wizards’ role players seemed to shine against a Raptors team that was thought to be deeper.
Randy Wittman had a defensive-minded team playing like an offensive juggernaut in the four games of this series. If this builds toward the next round, the Wizards might start thinking about an Eastern Conference finals appearance.
The Wizards await the winner of the Hawks-Nets series for the second round.
Washington 125, Toronto 94