NBA Playoff Preview — Game 4: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards obviously found something that worked for them in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, and so the challenge for them is to find that again for Game 4, which could enable them to even things up at two games apiece. Game time is 6:05 PM ET at the Capital One Arena, and if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers on the action after the opening whistle, when you access the technology available through Live Betting Ultra.
Toronto captured the first two games at home, giving them a 2-0 playoff lead for the first time in franchise history. But 3-0 was apparently too heavy a task. They turned the ball over 19 times on Friday, and couldn’t do very much to stop the Wizards’ star backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, who each scored 28 points and shot 52% in a 122-103 victory. Beal had 21 points in the first half, as Washington powered its way to a seventh consecutive home playoff win.
Do the Raptors really need to go looking for answers? They aren’t all that far off offensively; they are able to launch three-pointers at the rate Dwane Casey wants them to, and they are making them at a 44% rate. But they are not playing defense at a high level; the Wizards are hitting 50.6% of their shots in the series and 42.4% from beyond the arc.
In the NBA playoff odds posted on this game at BetAnySports, the Raptors are laying points:
Toronto Raptors -2
Washington Wizards +2
Over 218.5 points -110
Under 218.5 points -110
DeMar DeRozan has been outstanding for the Raptors, and even though he was not necessarily a dependable long-range shooter during the regular season, he has gone six of 14 on his triple attempts in these first three games. And CJ Miles is 50% (9-18), which is good news because he’s just the kind of guy Casey needs to be on the mark. It looks as though Toronto is going to a “big” lineup as they have four players who are at least 6-8, and that includes the talented OG Anunoby. But the quickness of Wall (who had 14 assists on Friday) and Beal is a problem for them.
And so is the Washington bench, as it turns out. The Raptors are known for that, but their reserves have been outscored in two straight games, and the Wizards have gotten great stuff out of Mike Scott, who has made 18 of 24 shots (including six out of seven triples) off the pines.
We know that Washington is not going to be all that assertive on the boards, and they have to attack the basket with people other than Wall, who has taken 26 of this team’s 66 free throws. Wall’s Usage figure (35.3%) is very high, but there is potential to spread things out with the likes of Otto Porter, one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters.
If you look at the “Pace” figures here (denoting possessions per 48 minutes), neither team has shown an inclination to slow things down. Overall the pace in the series has been a brisk 98.9, and inasmuch as we know the Raptors in particular are going to continue hoisting those triples up there, we are comfortable moving OVER this figure of 218.5 points on Sunday.
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