The last time these two teams met was the first round of the playoffs last season. Neither team had trouble taking care of business at home with the exception of Game Six when Toronto won by ten on Washington’s home court.
But since then, both teams have undergone a few changes. Toronto got a new head coach and a new superstar while sending one to San Antonio. Washington added some role players that they hope can help the team reach the next level this season.
If Dwight Howard can stay healthy, the Wizards could be a better team. He is still a double-double machine. But teams just don’t fear him like they used to.
The most important thing for Washington is going to be keeping their star players healthy. They survived without John Wall last season, but they are a better team with him.
Toronto looked good in their season opener. Kyle Lowry led the way with 27 points. Kawhi Leonard scored 24 but had trouble hitting his shots. While the Raptors may miss DeMar DeRozan’s leadership, they do appear to be a better team
Washington played well against the Miami Heat in their season opener Thursday night. Bradley Beal and John Wall led the way with 46 combined points. But the Wizards, who were without Dwight Howard, lost on a last-second putback, 113-112.
So, when these two play Saturday night, who’s going to win?
Toronto wins this one with ease. The Raptors are not quite the defensive team that they will be this season, but they’ll be good enough to slow down John Wall and Bradley Beal. Take Toronto to win (+117) over Washington (-139) and cover the spread (2.5).