Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Wizards Head Home Down 0-2

Washington Falls to Toronto 130-119

April 18, 2018 - 10:00 am

By Austin Medina

The Wizards have no answer for DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors and find themselves in a 0-2 hole.

The Wizards gave up an incredible 130 points to the #1 seed Raptors in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs Tuesday night. Washington came out slow as Toronto outscored them 44-27 in the first quarter alone.

Washington has yet to stifle the DeRozan’s strong play, as he dropped 37 points in the win. Typically the Wizards lack of bench play has held them back. This time the bench showed up as Mike Scott scored 20 points as well as 14 points from Ty Lawson and Kelly Oubre Jr. respectively.

Poor play from both Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat are to blame for the series being 0-2. Beal scored just nine points on 3-11 shooting as DeRozan has the clear advantage, not only scoring but defending Beal. Gortat was ineffective against the Raptors starting unit and head coach Scott Brooks limited his minutes. Gortat went scoreless with just three rebounds.

The chemistry within the Wizards team has been troubling for some time and it was public during the loss.

Star guard John Wall missed nearly half the season with a knee injury. Washington did surprisingly well in his absence and in large part due to Beal. Bench players such as Tomas Satoransky gained valuable experience filling in for Wall.

It has yet to be seen in the early going but if there’s one positive, it’s that the Wizards are heading back to D.C. It was just four years ago when the Wizards swept the Raptors in the first round. However the Raptors have dramatically improved and the Wizards have seemingly ripped apart at the seams.

It’s up to Washington to stop the high-powered offense of Toronto. It’s time for Bradley Beal to be the star that he is. Gortat needs to play tough interior defense and force the Raptors to defend him. Finally John Wall has to be the leader Washington needs, put differences aside, and come out with a home victory in Game 3. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on Friday night in Washington.