[Editor's Note: Beckley Mason provided Verizon Center coverage of Saturday night's 98-95 Wizards win over the Toronto Raptors for TAI. You can usually find Beckley at the TrueHoop Network general NBA blog, HoopSpeak.com. You can also find him on Twitter: @BeckleyMason. -Kyle W.]
“Yi has a great set of skills. When he dunked it tonight I was like ‘OK China.’” -Andray Blatche
Debating which is worse, wasting two and half hours watching that putrid Wizards defensive performance against the Toronto Raptors in a 127- 108 rout, or trying to figure out what to write for a game recap. Both seem like torture for a Wizards fan, but I will at least try a bigger literary effort than Andray Blatche does at defense. The Wizards team wore red shoes, headbands, and warm ups to honor World AIDS Week, although it was pretty symbolic of the matador D that they unveiled in Canada Wednesday evening.
The Wizards did their usual roadkill performance in remarkable fashion by giving up 72 points on 32 made FGs — in the first half! With the Magic, Celtics and Hawks already destroying the Wizards this season, you could at least counter that those are playoff teams. Not the case with a sub par 6-11 Raptors team, the Wizards were lucky to hold them under 140 points.
The Raptors did shoot a blistering 67% in the first half, yet, most of them were dunks, fast-break lay-ups and easy buckets around the hoop. Thirty of the Raptors first 40 points came in the paint (62 for the game), and they tallied 50 points in the first 17 minutes of the game, ending up with 32 fast break points. Toronto also crushed the Wiz 52-30 in rebounding.
Andrea Bargnani looked like the version of Dirk Nowitzki everyone thought he could be when the Raptors drafted him first overall in 2006. He threw down facial dunks, grabbed offensive boards at ease, and flowed in any jumper he wanted at will. DeMar Derozan did a ‘Bo Kimble at Loyola Marymount’ impression, Leandro Barbosa was Tim Hardaway in Run TMC, Jose Calderon put on a ‘Fat Lever with the Nuggets’ play-making act, and Jerryd Bayless was, sigh … you get the picture. But let John Wall paint it for you:Read more »
… especially from Jamison and Butler, the latter racked up three steals. As a team, the Wizards had 10 steals (their second highest total of the season), and held the Raptors to only two. Against the Suns, the Wiz had 12 steals, but they also had 17 turnovers. The team only turned the ball over 10 times last night.
… even after the Raptors made shots, the Wizards pushed the ball up the court without deliberation, giving the recently stagnant offense more time to get something done.