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After leading by four points at halftime, the Washington Wizards ended up losing a tough game one of their playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, 114-106 on Saturday.
The main takeaway from game one ins that the No. 8 seeded Wizards can match-up with the No. 1 seeded Raptors head-to-toe with their starting lineups.
A 95 percent healthy John Wall was good enough to battle with a crafty-veteran guard like Kyle Lowry – possibly even exposing Lowry’s poor defense. Bradley Beal and DeMar DeRozan essentially canceled each other out (albeit a future MVP-like version of DeRozan).
Oddly enough, the game’s best contributors were Serge Ibaka for Toronto and Markieff Morris for Washington, respectively. They were essentially the spider-man meme for the majority of the game. Moreover, we can expect the two centers on both sides – Marcin Gortat and Jonas Valanciunas – to pretty much be invisible and a liability in the paint for the duration of this series.
This will most likely be the performance both teams get from their starting units throughout the first round. Unless, of course, injury riddled Otto Porter Jr. becomes the hero Washington needs him to be.
This Raptors bench has been immensely undervalued all season, although – as stated previously – the NBA loves their stars to play big minutes, therefore taking minutes from the bench in the playoffs. Dwane Casey doesn’t agree with that notion, being very adamant about his bench having a large role in the playoffs.
What is our record right now? So why change this because some rulebook somewhere, if you find it, please send it to me because I have been on some teams where you keep the same rotation, and somebody somewhere in the back of a room says well, playoffs you have to shorten your rotation, so we have to find out unless this group proves us wrong.