The Wizards will catch a break on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors in the second game of their regular season, as Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard is being held out due to rest.
Leonard, who has been dominant so far for the 2-0 Raptors, is being limited in back-to-backs after he missed 73 games last season due to a quadriceps injury. The Raptors played the night before against the Celtics.
With Leonard out, the Raptors will likely rely on C.J. Miles and O.G. Anunoby at the small forward position. Shooting guard Delon Wright is also out with a shoulder injury.
Though Leonard and Wright are out of the mix, Toronto still has plenty of talent including All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is averaging 21 points, seven assists and 3.5 rebounds through two games.
Serge Ibaka has been their third-leading scorer with 15 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds. They also acquired Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to a strong start with 12.5 points and five rebounds per game.
Leonard's absence may be noticed more on the defensive end, as he is one of the best in the NBA on the perimeter. That could make things a bit easier for Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.
The Wizards and Raptors next play on Nov. 23. That game is in Toronto.
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Sixteen years ago Michael Jordan delivered one of the most memorable performances of his two-year stint with the Washington Wizards.
On February 21, 2003, Jordan dropped 43 points four days after his 40th birthday. The mark made the Jordan the first player older than 40 to record 40 points or more in a contest.
It was also the fifth-most points he ever scored in a Wizards uniform.
The record was made against the then-New Jersey Nets. Throughout the entire game the two teams went back-and-forth with 13 ties and 17 lead changes. That was until the Hall of Famer put the game away for Washington with the final go-ahead basket with 34 seconds to go.
The Wizards won 89-86.
"We hadn't really been playing well and coach has been really disappointed in the way we play and I had to take the leadership. I had to do everything I had to do to get this team to understand what winning is all about," Jordan said.
The 43 points was scored on 18-for-30 shooting, all within the 3pt arc. In the third quarter alone he scored 14 of the team's 25 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double in the contest with four steals, three assists and a block.
All 13 seasons of Jordan's career he had incredible feats. The season prior he recorded his final 50-point game at 38 years of age, which is also the oldest anyone's ever been to reach 50 points. And that came two months after he returned from retirement.
The 2002-03 season was his last and this display was an attempt for Jordan to return to the postseason one final time. He had not been there since he was with the Chicago Bulls in 1998.
"I've only got 28 games left in my career. I do whatever I've got to do to get into the playoffs."
Ultimately the Wizards did not make it to the playoffs with Jordan, but he sure left his mark on the organization.
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All-NBA, but never an All-Star? Rod Strickland is one of the underrated and underappreciated players in NBA history. Going toe-to-toe with the league's best throughout the 1990s, the former Wizards guard brought his New York City style to the NBA and was launched to cult hero status by Wu-Tang Clan when his name was dropped in the 1997 hit "Triumph".
In the "Make 'Em Jump" mini-documentary, NBC Sports Washington dives into what pushed Strickland to that cult hero status and recognizes your favorite player's favorite player.
The mini-documentary will release exclusively on the MyTeams app on Feb. 27.
You can download the MyTeams app here to get in on the viewing action.
Additionally, NBC Sports Washington will be featuring Strickland-centric content in our pre-, post- and in-game broadcasts on Feb. 22, 23 and 27.
To tune into NBC’s Wizards coverage, you can find your channel here, and you can live-stream broadcasts here.
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