Woz Weblog: Raptors did what they needed to at dwelling, now the hardest check looms


The Raptors did what they wanted to in Recreation 5 at dwelling, retaining their homecourt benefit with a spirited fourth quarter stand. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas mixed properly with C.J. Miles and Delon Wright, serving to make up for Serge Ibaka’s off-night. It’s attention-grabbing that many thought Miles can be the beginning small ahead this summer season as soon as he was signed and within the largest recreation of the yr, he was on the market as a small-ball energy ahead, one thing he additionally did within the playoffs for his earlier group, the Indiana Pacers.

The Raptors bought off to a different good begin, as soon as once more forcing Washington’s Scott Brooks to name the preliminary timeout.

“I discover I don’t like ’em … they’ve had 4 good begins, we’ve needed to overcome a few ’em, however that’s taking part in with hearth,” Brooks had lamented pre-game. Nonetheless, the Wizards led after 1 / 4 and the sport was air-tight till the decisive fourth.

Washington had wished to do a greater job stopping DeMar DeRozan from attending to the free throw line. “That’s been problematic, positively, with DeMar. He’s artful, he’s good, he is aware of find out how to play,” Brooks had mentioned. “He’s a big-time participant, probably the greatest within the league at doing it. Shot-fakes earlier than and after the dribble. They problem you to remain disciplined however you’ve gotta defend him with out fouling. 12 free throws in a single quarter is simply too many for one participant, not to mention the group. We’re gonna need to defend them with out fouling, as a result of he’s such a fantastic free-throw shooter as effectively.”

The Wizards largely completed that, sending DeRozan to the road solely six occasions for the sport and solely twice after the opening body, and the guests additionally clobbered the house aspect on the boards. The distinction? Toronto solely had 10 turnovers, resulting in eight factors, whereas Washington had 18 resulting in 14 and the fourth quarter shot-making. Poof, the Wizards marksmanship disappeared late, whereas the Raptors heated up. Generally, it’s so simple as that.

John Wall positively loves to speak whereas he’s scorching a group. He was demonstrative towards Toronto’s bench, towards Drake and even to a crowd that was giving it to him all evening, even when he was making dazzling performs (like his first quarter buzzer-beater). The group might be by no means going to be as deafening because it was when Deron Williams was capturing free throws late within the sequence towards Brooklyn, however Wednesday’s fourth quarter was the loudest this nook can bear in mind it being in an extended, very long time.

Wright was an unlikely podium speaker, however his big recreation deserved the chance. “I ain’t by no means been again right here earlier than,” mentioned a smiling Wright as he was led deep into the again areas of the Air Canada Centre the place the rostrum is about up.

Toronto’s first 10 factors got here within the paint Raptors first 10 factors got here within the paint. The group would then produce 33 extra from past the arc, beginning with a DeRozan three-pointer. Each groups couldn’t hit from deep early on, however Toronto went 7-for-13 within the second half, Washington simply 2-for-15.

Apropos of nothing, 4 of the 5 highest-paid Raptors performed the majority of the sport’s essential minutes.

DeRozan now has 14 30-point video games within the playoffs. All different Raptors gamers have mixed to do it 12 occasions.

Toronto is 10-Four all-time when DeRozan will get to 30, however his passing was additionally key on this one.

The group doesn’t consider OG Anunoby confirmed any after-effects of his damage within the recreation. He’s tremendous and Fred VanVleet is getting nearer to a return.

The important thing to profitable Recreation 6 in Washington, based on Miles? “Taking part in the identical approach we performed within the fourth (however doing it) in D.C. Physicality, with a way of urgency, simply locked in defensively,” Miles mentioned.

“Offensively issues will come. We’ve bought a bunch of proficient guys we’ve bought guys who can hit photographs, guys who can assist make performs for different guys. Defensively, so long as we could be locked in, we are able to play with tempo due to the defence, it makes us that a lot (extra) harmful.”


1 – DeMar DeRozan

2 – Delon Wright

three – John Wall

(Apologies to Lowry and Valanciunas.)

Supply hyperlink


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here