Wiz and Raptors

The last time Toronto came to town, on Dec. 1, Chris Bosh was out with a groin injury and the Wizards won 101-97. Tonight, Bosh will be in the lineup, and lately, he's been rolling. He's coming off a 32-point game in a blowout win over Milwaukee and is averaging 30 points and 9.6 rebounds in the last eight games, so the Wiz will need it from Brendan Haywood and Andray Blatche tonight.

Andrea Bargnani hasn't done much. He's putting up 9.1 ppg and 3.5 rebounds and Raptors Coach Sam Mitchell has been steadily having to defend last year's No. 1 overall pick to the Toronto scribes.

Bargnani tends to float around the perimeter too much and has never been called physical but Mitchell, who was one of my favorite players when he played with T-Wolves because he never hesitated to throw his body around, thinks that Bargnani is just going through the usual process of learning how to play in the NBA.

"Andrea's got to learn and he's not going to learn sitting over there with me," Mitchell told the Toronto Star. "Andrea's got to find out who and what he is. He's one of the guys that is the future of this franchise. We wouldn't have taken him No. 1 if he wasn't."

Not saying that Bargnani is the next Kwame Brown but didn't folks same the same kinds of things about the bigt KB a few years ago? Anyway, this game tonight and tomorrow's tilt in Toronto could be huge. The Raptors (24-19) lead the Wiz (23-19) by a half game in the East standings and the Wiz have a brutal stretch coming up.

One thing I'm very curious to see is how the Wiz handle Raps PG Jose Calderon and their big men on the pick-and-roll. Calderon is as good as any PG in the league at rolling off a high screen and deciding what to do next and yes, I'm including Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd etc. in that list. The guy can really play and since T.J. Ford went down after Al Horford hit him with that pork chop across the head, Calderon has been playing excellent ball. Strap 'em on tight Antonio Daniels.......

By Ivan Carter |  January 29, 2008; 4:40 PM ET
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This is a big game. I hope the guys are fired up.

Posted by: The Yawn Dude | January 29, 2008 5:06 PM

Tonight is huge if for no other reason than the WIZ need to show some fortitude and intensity, Calderon wore the Celtics out last week up in Beantown and silenced the fans with his all around floor game Chris Bosh kills the Zards everytime he plays us so we had better be ready and could the bench please show up(that means you Darius,Andray,Roger,Nick) play like you want to START!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | January 29, 2008 5:22 PM

This is a HUGE game.

And personally, I thought the Wiz would get "serious" after that Cavs blowout.

They didn't.

Eddie was not too pleased at all with the collapse against Memphis.

So, they would easily take care of the Bucks right? ....especially in Caron's hood.


That 11 point come-back was just a cherry on a turd sandwich, which was the entire rest of the game (save for Tuff Juice of course!)

But it's been a little while since the Wiz have had a true TEAM effort (ok, only about a week since Dallas).

And unfortunately, people have returned to being on Eddie Jordan's back.

Antonio Daniels has 9 turnovers in the past two games. Hopefully he changes up tonight.

Posted by: TruthAboutIt.net | January 29, 2008 5:28 PM

Who can contain Bosh? I think the best chance is probably AB. BTH is too slow, and AJ is not good enough defensively to handle Bosh.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 29, 2008 5:39 PM

NBA teams go through highs and lows. The wiz began their high a few weeks ago and ended it at Dallas. The amount of energy they put into that stretch of games was astonishing. No way any team could hold that much water throughout the course of a season. They are currently in a down phase. Funny how this current stretch oppositely mirrors the ATL-BOS-BOS run. Except this time it may turn out ugly. OT loss in MIL, lets see if they could squeeze out a victory either tonight or tommorrow- I'm rooting for tonight.

Posted by: jistutz | January 29, 2008 5:53 PM

last game we lost because we didnt have AB out there defending the quicker than haywood bogut...bogut was abusing haywood with his quickness...and eventually we had to double down on bogut which gave willams those open jumpers...

Posted by: jjmat84 | January 29, 2008 5:54 PM

They are getting the front end of a back to back with a playoff team at home.

It would be very difficult to lose this one and expect to win against Toronto tomorrow night.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 29, 2008 5:55 PM

I hear that Gilby is suiting up tonight. Now we'll definitely lose.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 29, 2008 6:01 PM

"They are getting the front end of a back to back with a playoff team at home.

It would be very difficult to lose this one and expect to win against Toronto tomorrow night."

...and yet they got back-to-backs against Boston (granted, it was two games over a three-night stretch, so not entirely an equal comparison). But if they can beat a team twice that was 32-4, why not the Raptors?

I think tonight and tomorrow are questions of mental preparation and being in the right frame of mind (i.e., getting up for the good teams as well as the bad). Oh, and CONSISTENCY wouldn't hurt either (bench? *ahem*).

Think they'll do okay against Toronto as long as they contain Bosh and Bargnani or Bellinelli don't get rolling. If the Wiz play well, shoot well and play the D like they did against Dallas, chances are good they'll win.

Posted by: iceberg | January 29, 2008 6:02 PM

"last game we lost because we didnt have AB out there defending the quicker than haywood bogut..."

In which case they likely still would have had to send help to defend the stronger-than-Blatche Bogut.

Posted by: kalorrama | January 29, 2008 6:26 PM

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