John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Saturday evening in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:
GAME 1: WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT TORONTO RAPTORS
Where: Air Canada Centre
Tip-off: 5:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 4:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM
It all begins
The Wizards had one of the wildest, least predictable regular seasons in recent memory. On one night they would beat one of the NBA's best teams then turn right around and lose to one of the worst. Figuring out which version of them would show up from night to night was a frustrating task.
But now the regular season is over and behind them. It's the playoffs and everything, as they say, starts at zero. The Wizards have a fresh start. The reset button has been pushed. They can rewrite the story of their season if they turn things around in the playoffs.
Now, doing so will be much easier said than done given what they are up against. The Wizards are the eighth seed and facing the top-ranked team in the conference. These seres have favored the one-seeds 63-5 all-time.
It will not be easy for Washington, but they do have a solid track record to fall back on. They have not lost a first round series in the John Wall and Bradley Beal era and that includes 2015 when they swept this Raptors team.
With Wall and Beal on one side and DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry on the other, this series will feature four All-Star guards. Both teams are built around their backcourts and there isn't much separating the two duos.
Beal and DeRozan are so closely matched it is hard to pick between them. In Wall vs. Lowry, the Wizards could have an advantage, depending on how the series plays out. Despite missing months due to left knee surgery, Wall is five years younger and put up better numbers this season. Wall will need to keep Lowry in check at the three-point line, as Lowry shot 39.9 percent this season on 7.6 attempts per game.
The Wizards will also be down at least one of their wing players as shooting guard Jodie Meeks has been suspended for performance enhancing drugs. They also have Otto Porter (right leg) and Mike Scott (concussion protocol) nursing injuries.
Everything on the line(s)
Three-point shooting will be a key overall and so will what happens at the free throw line. The Wizards are top six in the league in both three-point percentage and opponent three-point percentage. The Raptors are top four in the NBA in three-point makes and attempts and opponent threes and attempts.
Both teams are in the bottom-five of the NBA in allowing opponents to get to the line. The Raptors are also especially good at making teams pay for that. They are fourth in free throw percentage and DeRozan is one of the best in the NBA at getting there.
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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or extensive preview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: