NBA Wizards 

Keys to Victory: Game 2- Wizards & Raptors

Paul Pierce backed up his trash talk on Saturday with 20 points against the Raptors, Nene and Drew Gooden dominated on the boards and Kevin Seraphin was a huge boost off the bench. If the Wizards want to come back to D.C. up 2-0, here are some other things that need to go right on Tuesday night.

John Wall/ Bradley Beal can’t go 11/41 from the field

The two best players on the Wizards can’t go cold again in Game 2, the effects of their lackluster performance were minimized by the good defense on Toronto’s dynamic duo: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Lowry and DeRozan combined to go 8/30. However, the chances of that happening again are slim. Wall and Beal were effective in other areas beside shooting: Wall had just one turnover in 43 minutes and Beal hauled in nine rebounds. Wall and Beal are also two of the Wizards top shooting threats, if they can get going it bodes well for the spacing of the offense.

Otto Porter must continue to make the little plays

“He does the little things that nobody sees,” John Wall said after Game 1. Otto Porter only put up five points in 34 minutes but he did have a key floater to seal the game in overtime and did a great job defending DeMar DeRozan. Porter’s presence at this stage in his career will be felt primarily on the defensive end, his long frame allows him to check a wide range of players. There isn’t a category or stat for batted balls but I don’t see many players get more deflections than Otto Porter. This defensive versatility is important against a team like Toronto that presents so many matchup problems.

Wittman can’t abandon “small ball”

Wittman finally wised up and played Paul Pierce at the power forward position on Saturday. As much as I love Nene and Kris Humphries, they’re just too slow to guard guys like Patrick Patterson. This small lineup not only gives the Wizards an edge defensively but allows them to get into their offense quicker. One drawback of going small is rebounding but the Wizards were still able to rebound out of the small lineup, as a whole they had 13 more rebounds than the Raptors. Wittman went “small” in overtime, if I’m him I close out every game with the Wall/Beal/Porter/Pierce/Gortat lineup.

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