That’s right: The 5-7 Raptors are atop the Atlantic. It is the first time that has happened later than the first few days of the season since the end of the 2006-07 campaign. That year, of course, is responsible for the only Raptors-related banner hanging in the Air Canada Centre, when they won the division with 47 wins. Following that season, the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and the Raptors have not sniffed these rarified airs since.
The Wizards broke out of a 4 game losing streak this week where they lost twice in overtime, so their record is a bit misleading. The team scores 100.2 points per game, but gives up 102.9 with the league’s second worst opponents’ field goal percentage of 47.3. The Wizards have only held an opponent under 100 points twice this season, but they have 5 players that average double-digits in scoring.
The Washington Wizards visit Toronto in the midst of trying to pull their season out of the muck early. The Wiz started 2-7 but have won their last two games, beating a strong Minnesota squad and the struggling Cavaliers. This team, like the Raps, seems to have been rebuilding since Kareem was hitting skyhooks. They are chock-full of youthful high draft picks like John Wall and Bradley Beal, both of whom are excellent, but they’ve also swung and missed – I’m looking at you, Jan Vesely.
Without the injured John Wall, the Wizards were awful early last season before finishing strong. It’s hard not to see why, as the former No. 1 pick is asserting himself as one of the best young guards in the NBA. His team may not have a great record (4-7) but Wall is second in the league in assists, averaging 9.7 per game. Chris Paul is the league leader.