The Washington Wizards will begin a six-game road trip in the 2020-21 NBA when they meet the Toronto Raptors at the Amalie Arena on Monday. Both teams are not in playoff reckoning at the moment, as they have struggled to win games in the last few weeks.
Unlike the Washington Wizards, the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 130-77 in their last outing. The win was a welcome relief for coach Nick Nurse whose team have been playing uninspired basketball.
Now 19-30 (11th) on the season, the Toronto Raptors can still make the postseason via the play-in tournament, but their recent form doesn't inspire much confidence. In their past 18 games, the Toronto Raptors have won just three times.
Meanwhile, in their last 17 games, the Washington Wizards have won just four times, with their last outing resulting in an 87-109 loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Nevertheless, they will hope to break the Toronto Raptors’ run of eight consecutive regular-season wins against them. But it would be a tall order for Russell Westbrook and co., as they will be shorthanded for the Monday matchup of the two Eastern Conference teams.
Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors Injury Update
The Washington Wizards’ injury report includes one of their superstar guards as well as a couple of regular rotation players.
Bradley Beal is questionable to play against the Toronto Raptors on Monday. He has a bruised right hip which could keep him from playing for the fifth straight game.
Another starter, Rui Hachimura, is questionable to play; he has missed the last two games with right shoulder tightness. He was a late scratch for the Dallas Mavericks game on Saturday before he was replaced by Davis Bertans in the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, Daniel Gafford is nursing a right ankle sprain which will keep him out for a few more days. He injured his ankle against the Indiana Pacers last week and could make a return soon, depending on his progress.
However, Thomas Bryant is out for the season after undergoing season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee.
The Toronto Raptors have several players in their injury report as well.
Kyle Lowry is dealing with a foot infection that has sidelined him till at least April 10. The six-time All-Star has been out of action since March 31.
Fred VanVleet is questionable for the Washington Wizards game. The veteran guard left Friday’s game with a strained right hip flexor and did not practice with the team on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Rodney Hood has been ruled out for the second straight game because of right hip soreness. Despite his injury, the Toronto Raptors forward is likely going to be a part of coach Nurse’s regular rotation once he’s back in the lineup.
Paul Watson is still out due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols, which means he will miss a sixth consecutive contest.
Patrick McCaw continues to deal with left knee inflammation. He has hardly played this season, and his status has not been updated by the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, Jalen Harris’ right hip pointer will keep him from playing on Monday, which will be the fourth straight game he’ll miss.
Both McCaw and Harris are not likely to crack the rotation even if they become available soon.
Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineups
Garrison Matthews started in place of Beal last Saturday and could be the starter again unless Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks decides to let Jerome Robinson have a go again. Ish Smith should provide backup minutes.
With Hachimura out, Bertans could start for the second time in a row, with Chandler Hutchison and Isaac Bonga possibly more game-time against the Toronto Raptors.
Gafford has played only two games since coming from the Chicago Bulls, but he was a major contributor in both games. Meanwhile, Hutchison has also been the beneficiary of Gafford’s absence, with Bertans and Bonga getting more minutes.
Coach Nurse has indicated that Malachi Flynn could start in place of Fred VanVleet if the latter can’t play against the Washington Wizards. Gary Trent Jr. will take on added responsibilities in the backcourt if VanVleet sits out the game.
Without Hood and Watson, DeAndre' Bembry, Stanley Johnson and Yuta Watanabe are in line to play extended minutes.
Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Russell Westbrook l Shooting Guard - Bradley Beal l Small Forward - Andrew Wiggins l Power Forward - Draymond Green l Center - James Wiseman.
Point Guard - Malachi Flynn l Shooting Guard - Gary Trent Jr. l Small Forward - OG Anunoby l Power Forward - Pascal Siakam l Center - Chris Boucher.