Washington Wizards 2019-2020 Season Preview: Toronto Raptors

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

How do the Washington Wizards stack up against the reigning NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors?

Washington Wizards record versus Toronto last season: 0-3

Toronto lost: Delon Wright, Jeremy Lin, KAWHI LEONARD, Danny Green, and CJ Miles

Toronto added: Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Oshae Brissett, Cameron Payne, Matt Thomas, Terence Davis, and Sagaba Konate

The 2019-2020 Toronto Raptors may be the least threatening reigning champions in NBA history.

While they still have Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol, they lost the Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard and two phenomenal defenders in Delon Wright and Danny Green.

Expectations remain high, though, as many expect the Raptors will be in the playoffs yet again since the Eastern Conference is still a jumble of just-above-average teams. But for a team like Washington who can’t afford to lose to any conference opponents, these matchups will prove crucial to their playoff hopes. If they have any.

Even without Leonard, the Raptors still have a still relevant All-Star point guard in Lowry. And against Washington last year, he was extremely efficient. Lowry averaged a double-double (19 points, 11.3 assists per game) in the season series against the Wizards. With no Wall to slow him down this season, Lowry could cause even more trouble for the Wizards this season.

Wizards to Watch

Whenever facing a team without true superstar talent, eyes should always turn to Bradley Beal, the Wizards’ own All-Star. And while Washington went 0-3 against the Raptors last season, Washington’s star shooting guard had his say in each and every game.

In three games against Toronto, Beal averaged 30 points, 10.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He had one of his best games of the year against the Raptors in January, where he recorded a 40-point triple-double in a close loss:

That’s WITH Leonard healthy and playing in the game. The two stars dueled it out and both dropped 40, but the Raptors emerged victorious. This season, without Leonard there to bother him, Beal is destined to light up Toronto once again.

Games against the Raptors will also provide great experience for Thomas Bryant. He’ll be playing against two veteran centers, and a former Defensive Player of the Year in Gasol. Keep an eye on Beal’s hot hand and Bryant’s production in this series.

2019-20 Game Predictions

Washington Visits the Reigning Champs: December 20th, 2019

The Wizards will be embarking on the first of a four-game road trip here, after hosting the (still) rebuilding Chicago Bulls. Expect Beal to smoke Toronto, and push Washington to the win.

Wizards Travel Up North: January 17th, 2020

At this point in the season, both the Raptors and Wizards will be engaged in the preliminary portion of trade talks, ahead of the February deadline. Hell, Toronto may have already sold low on Gasol and Ibaka. Count it as another Washington win, barring a Beal-blockbuster.

Raptors visit Wizards: April 7th, 2020

No matter the Raptors outcome this season, an early April game is bound to go in their favor. They’ve either sold their veterans for talented youth that’ll see plenty of game time or they still have their expiring veterans playing for their next contract. Raptors close the series with a win.

dark. Next. Washington Wizards 2019-20 Season Preview: Milwaukee Bucks

Games against the Toronto Raptors will prove critical for the Washington Wizards this season. As an in-conference opponent, in a year where the playoff isn’t guaranteed, they’ll need to win at least two if not three of these matchups.

Trust Bradley Beal and company to reproduce performances from last season to get the job done.