The Wizards are 1-3 without Bradley Beal in the past four games after their star shooting guard left Washington's March 27 win against the Detroit Pistons. Their last loss came against the Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks as the Wizards struggled to overcome key personnel losses on Saturday night.
Though Davis Bertans and Ish Smith returned to the lineup, already being down Beal (hip), Rui Hachimura (shoulder), newly acquired Daniel Gafford (ankle), and Thomas Bryant (ACL), the Wizards failed to get into a rhythm offensively, - as their 87 points was a season low. Dallas, which was missing a few players of its own, took full advantage.
Beal or no Beal, the Wizards are looking to get back into the win column. Can they do it against the hungry Toronto Raptors? Here's everything you need to know.
WIZARDS VS. RAPTORS HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: Monday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Suns on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM
WIZARDS vs RAPTORS TV SCHEDULE
6:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: NBA: Wizards vs. Raptors (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
WIZARDS vs RAPTORS WHAT TO WATCH
- Watch to see if coach Scott Brooks has helped his players refocus in the free-throw department. The Wizards had their worst performance from the charity stripe in franchise history in their Thursday night loss to the Pistons. Their 6-of-19 output from the line, a dismal 31.6%. That was only the 35th time an NBA team shot less than 32% on free throws in 78 seasons. Oddly enough, Washington's opponent, Toronto, holds the honor of being the only team in NBA history not to make a free throw in a game (the Raptors went 0-3 in 1996).
- This is a prime opportunity for the Wizards to make a statement against the 2019 NBA champs. This contest has a lot of implications in the Eastern Conference playoff picture standings. The Raptors, forced to play their "home" games in Tampa Bay because of the coronavirus, are just one spot ahead of the Wizards and one spot closer to that coveted 10th spot -- the final slot in the standings to have a chance to play in the 7-10 play-in games.
- After being on the trade block during the deadline, Kyle Lowry may have an increased role Monday night. Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet's status for Monday's game is questionable. The results for VanVleet's MRI on his strained hip have not been disclosed. What would be a huge blow for the Raptors would be a boost for a Wizards backcourt that has struggled to guard All-Star talents.
WIZARDS vs RAPTORS PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Russell Westbrook, PG, Wizards (21.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 10.5 apg): Westbrook will be called upon to step up as Washington's main offensive threat if Beal remains sidelined. The do-everything energizer bunny is averaging a triple-double but has made costly mistakes in the clutch this season. After a week full of hitting back at one of his biggest critics in ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Westbrook will be keen to continue to lead the Wizards against the athletic Raptors.
Pascal Siakam, SF, Raptors (20.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 4.7 apg): Siakam is one of the most athletic swingmen in the league and his potential to dominate on a consistent basis continues to take shape. On Friday night, Siakam's incredible 36-point performance helped the Raptors crush the Golden State Warriors 130-77. He'll be motivated to do the same against the Wizards, especially if Hachimura can't go and help defend him.