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Takeaways from Wizards' loss to Raptors in home opener

Takeaways from Wizards' loss to Raptors in home opener

The rivalry between the Wizards and Toronto goes back several seasons, and it blossomed with what took place in the postseason two years ago. Wednesday, in the home opener, the Wizards couldn't pull out their first win of the season with DeMar DeRozan's game-high 40 points. 

John Wall (33 points, 11 assists, five rebounds) led Washington followed by Otto Porter (23 points, 13 rebounds), Bradley Beal (15 points) and Marcin Gortat (15 points, 10 rebounds).

The Wizards play Friday vs. the Atlanta Hawks, who beat them in the regular-season opener for both teams.

  • True to his word, Wizards coach Scott Brooks blended starters with his reserves. Instead of Jason Smith, who didn’t play, he used Gortat to begin the second quarter. He eventually had to have Wall come in for Trey Burke who had yet another rough outing. The Wizards took a 27-15 lead in the first quarter but it all but subsided once Brooks went to his bench at 3:32. Toronto went on 12-2 run to cut the deficit to two.
  • How long Burke keeps his backup job to Wall was an ongoing question until Tomas Satoransky, who is bigger at 6-7 and projected to be a much better player, played and helped lead a comeback. Brooks may have to resort to keeping Wall or Beal on the court with the second unit at all times. Instead of going to Burke to sub for Wall late in the third quarter, it was Satoransky who came in with Thornton in the final 2:42. Brooks began the fourth with a three-guard lineup. Burke wasn't one of them. 
  • DeRozan had 10 points in the first quarter, but he did most of that damage against the second unit. Against the starters, he wasn’t nearly as successful. Gortat’s pick-and-roll coverage was excellent. He didn’t allow DeRozan free runs into the lane so he could build momentum and drain floaters over the top. DeRozan was forced to fade way and shoot going away from the rim. He still got to the foul line seven times in the first half. Still, he got to the foul line 19 times
  • Kelly Oubre figured to have a better shot defending DeRozan because of his length and athleticism, but still got overaggressive. DeRozan got away and Oubre ran him down, not anticipating the stop to draw contact with the pump fake and then the shot. That put DeRozan on the line. All Oubre has to do is play with a bit more calm 
  • Porter was the best player on the floor because of what he did on both ends. His defense on DeRozan kept the scorer well under 50% shooting, he attacked the glass for offensive rebounds 1 vs. 3 and he made aggressive moves to the basket and played through contact. This might've been the most complete game of his career. 

[RELATED: 'Long-term' plan for Otto Porter to stay with Wizards]

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Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

The connection between athletes and their fans is a powerful thing in sports. The NBA is one of the trendiest, fashion-forward leagues in the world. From shoe design to overall wardrobe to eccentric personalities...the Association has it all on display for fans across the globe to consume. 

Lloyd Ferguson, a fan himself and native of Silver Spring, Md., is bursting onto the customized sneakers scene as an up-and-coming artist. 

His Instagram (@SwaggyPicasso) serves as his personal laboratory and a platform to share his creations. 

Prior to the start of Thursday night's Wizards-Heat game, NBC Sports Washington invited Ferguson to Capital One Arena for what would become a memorable night for the 23-year-old. 

Chris Miller and Drew Gooden featured Swaggy Picasso on the pregame show for an interview and sneaker showcase.

"The inside of my body was jiggling and moving. I was like 'I gotta keep composed and stay cool. You're on national televison, Lloyd.'" 

You would have never known it. 

Ferguson, who was a basketball player himself locally, grew up a Wizards and D.C. sports fan all around. 

Little did he know several Wizards would take notice of his artwork. 

Kelly Oubre, Devin Robinson and John Wall - each known for their wardrobes and respective styles - stopped by to take a peek at Ferguson's kicks. 

"Their reactions to my art was all I needed, honestly. They see the potential and growth. It's very overwhelming." 

It was a groundbreaking night for a young talent with lofty dreams and aspirations. 

Swaggy Picasso has no plans of stopping anytime soon. 

"I've been busting out these shoes day and night. I don't sleep. My desire to paint shoes is ridiculous." 



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Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards take to the court Saturday night looking for their first win of the season against the Toronto Raptors. 

In their first game of the season the Wizards laid an egg after the Miami Heat were missing three rotation players on the second end of a back-to-back. Similar problems emerged even with new offseason additions Jeff Green and Austin Rivers having stellar debuts. Dwight Howard did not play in the contest, still dealing with a butt injury. 

Now, the Wizards will go up against one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference, the Raptors. They also acquired a former All-Star in Kwahi Leonard this offseason, trading away DeMar DeRozan. Besides the switch, this is pretty much the same squad that knocked the Wizards out of the First Round of the playoffs last season.

On Saturday the Raptors will be coming off a back-to-back after hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Once again, another big opportunity for the Wizards against an Eastern Conference foe early in the season.

The Wizards-Raptors will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.


What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors, 2018 NBA regular season Game 2
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Raptors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Toronto Raptors @ Wizards (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
10:30 PM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)


Wizards: Dwight Howard (questionable)
Raptors: Delon Wright (day-to-day), OG Anunoby (probable)


John Wall, Wizards: After speculation on if Wall would return to his peak form, he showed out on Thursday night. With 26 points, nine assists, and four blocks, the point guard was all around the court for the Wizards. 

Otto Porter Jr./ Jeff Green, Wizards: Covering Leonard is going to be a tall task. It is anticipated that the taller Otto Porter Jr. and Jeff Green to be the duo that will be covering the lengthy guard.  Neither guy are going to light-up the stat sheet on the offensive end, but after a nice showing by Green on Thursday look for them to split time defensively. 

Khawi Leonard: Leonard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his debut with the Raptors, picking up right where he left off before his injury. Will a back-to-back affect the star that hasn't played consistently since 2016? 


Number of all-time Meetings: 95 games
Regular Season Record: Raptors lead 48-37
Postseason Record: Wizards lead 6-4
Last Meeting: Raptors won 102-92
Last 10: Raptors lead 6-4