A few got their t-shirts, but Rudy Gay robbed them of their chicken. They give away free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in the fourth quarter if an opponent misses a pair of free throws. Chicken is to Washington as pizza is to Toronto. It’s hard to say which city clings to its artery clogging booby prizes with more ironic detachment. Neither, probably.
Yes, Valanciunas is getting more minutes and by extension a much greater opportunity, but he’s also taking advantage of it. For the past five games the team is actually running plays for Valanciunas, something they had not done all season and Valanciunas is repaying that confidence with results. “I’m getting much more confident,” Valanciunas said. “Coach has started to trust me. He’s scheming the ball in the post so that’s giving me confidence. I feel trust from the coach’s side and it’s motivating me to work more.”
For the Raptors, this was a disaster on defence nearly from the start. Wall, who has been playing some of the best basketball of his young career, started creating havoc for Toronto out of the gate. His ability to break down the defence and get into the lane had the Raptors scrambling, which led to 16 first-quarter free-throw attempts for Washington and early foul trouble for Gay and Amir Johnson. It didn’t stop there…
“I thought we came out with a relaxed disposition and didn’t come out ready to go. The guys didn’t look like they were ready to move their feet defensively,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We had some frustration fouls which kind of set the tone for the course of the game.”