One of the biggest differences in Game 1 was the shooting from the perimeter, as the Raps doubled the Wizards with a franchise playoff best 16 made 3-pointers on 30 attempts. Seven different Raptors made at least one 3-pointer, led by reserve guard C.J. Miles who made four. The Wizards defended some of the 3’s and those they will live with, but they gave the Raps a few too many open looks and it hurt them. It wasn’t just Miles off the bench either, as their other reserve guard Delon Wright also made three triples to help their bench score 42 points compared to the Wizards’ 21. The only Wizards’ reserve to reach double figures was Mike Scott, who finished with 14.
Everyone seems to want a piece of Jerry Stackhouse.
The Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic plan to interview Stackhouse for their respective head coaching vacancies, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania. The former NBA player reportedly has an interview with the New York Knicks scheduled this week as well.
The coach hopes to capitalize on Ibaka’s playoff experience. He’s played in 100 post-season games, 89 of them with Oklahoma City.
“That right there … just the experience of being around a guy like [Russell] Westbrook and [James] Harden and all those guys, [Kevin] Durant, special situations, you can’t put a dollar value on that. That’s invaluable,” Casey said. “And you cant give it to anybody. You gotta go through that.
“He’s been through the fire.”
Toronto has said repeatedly that they are not facing a “regular” eighth seed, and the audacity the Wizards showed in allowing themselves to finish the season 3-9 hoping to play a depleted Celtics team or a Raptors squad they thought they had a mental edge over shows the confidence they have in who they really think they are.
So, it should be a shock to no one when Candace Buckner of the Washington Post asked Wall if it was surprising to see someone like Delon Wright step in and make 7-of-10 shots, and Wall responded, “Yeah, totally, I think their bench was great,” Wall said. “Especially them with C.J. Miles, they play well… [If] that’s what they’re going to do every game, got to make adjustments.”
Some of his doubt as to whether Toronto’s reserves could do this on the big stage is understandable. The backups haven’t really done so in the past, and the Wizards were clearly banking on history coming through for them again.
Scott Brooks and his Wizards have now seen the Raptors not named Lowry and DeRozan beat them and will make an adjustment.
Whether that means doubling down on the stop-the-Raptors-big-duo tactic or easing off a bit, only Brooks will know. But it’s a safe bet Game 2 is going to be significantly different than Game 1.
DeRozan talked in advance of Game 1 about the Raptors “swag being at an all-time high.”
But Lowry is a big part of the story; he’d been granted the luxury of not speaking to the media on Sunday, a day after he’d helped the Raptors win their first post-season opener in franchise history. So the questions began to come.
“I just asked you to say no,” Lowry croaked, flashing a smile.
There were chuckles all ’round. And why not? Not only were the Raptors doing something they’d never done before – leading a first-round series 1-0 instead of explaining their underperformance in another squandered Game 1 — Sunday brought news that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are anything but invincible. Cleveland, the betting favourite to represent the East in the NBA final despite the fact they came into the playoffs as the fourth seed, lost the first game of their series with the Pacers despite a triple-double from basketball’s self-proclaimed king. It was the first round-one loss by a LeBron-led team since 2012. And while things can change, and nobody’s silly enough to count the Cavaliers out after one loss, maybe it made the prospect of a possible meeting with Cleveland in the second round slightly less futile.
Ibaka only had a few months to get acclimated to his new teammates before the playoffs hit – not enough time to learn every detail of the schemes and establish good chemistry with every Raptor.
“It was more difficult than we thought, especially when pressure hit. When you don’t know the nuances or know each other well, it’s more difficult in those situations,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. “We had to simplify some things last year just because of P.J. [Tucker] and Serge coming in [at last year’s trade deadline], but that is no excuse. I probably didn’t do a good job of integrating them in quick enough. This year is a different story for him, because he knows all the nuances.”
We got another update on Fred VanVleet today after shoot-around, even if it wasn’t anything new. As far as how VanVleet feels today, Casey noted that “He went through most of practice today, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
So that’s good news. If he’s able to get a few shots up, all the better in terms of his chances of suiting up. With that said, he appears to be a legitimate game-time decision for tomorrow’s Game 2 match-up.
Despite the fact that the Washington Wizards trail the top-seeded Raptors 1-0 in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference series, Wall remains confident that the Wizards played far from their best basketball in Game 1, a 114-106 victory for Toronto.
What the Wizards’ point guard doesn’t know is when his All-Star explosiveness will return after missing two months because of knee surgery. But he’s certain he can still show what he can do, even if he’s not at full strength.
“I think I am there [speed-wise but] just having explosion, and being very explosive and those types of things, that is what I am still working on, to get my legs back underneath me,” Wall said Monday. “But other than that, just from me being out there and to do the things that I am doing without being at 100 percent shows what type of player I am.”