Beal's proficient scoring touch - he averaged 22.6 points per game in the regular season - has flatlined upon arrival in the playoffs.
VanVleet had been downgraded from a game-time decision Tuesday morning, to doubtful in the afternoon, but then Dwane Casey shocked everybody at his pre-game availability by saying his second-year player would be in the lineup. He had just pulled Washington within five points. By the time DeRozan drained his first shot more than seven minutes into the game - a driving layup courtesy of a little give-and-go on the left side with Valanciunas - the Raptors led 26-13 and were on their way to a 44-point first quarter, a franchise best in the postseason. It's going to be a process.
"Me as a player, I got to do a better job of not worrying about fouls and contact and just try to finish my plays like I usually do in the past", he said.
"I'd rather you not tell me about it, just like the last two minutes report".
On Jonas Valanciunas guarding small-ball lineups and accepting it when he doesn't get to: "I was just watching film with Jonas and talking to him about there's certain small lineups that it's very hard for him to guard unless he's just dominating on the other end". DeRozan's line was well-rounded; He added five rebounds and four assists in addition to his game-high points total. "But we've gotta get some more guys to join the party". Their first shot after Washington closed the gap was a C.J. Miles 3-pointer.
"(A) lot of speed, man ... They were making a run. By the end of that stretch, the Raptors' lead was back up to 14.
"I was nervous. I felt like I was about to drop the ball or something when he threw it because it was a little slippery", Wright said. Yeah, that was probably my first one (finishing in his National Basketball Association career).
"DeMar's an unbelievable player, all-NBA, an MVP-calibre player", said Lowry, rhyming off his best friend's stellar stats for the night. He also converted a four-point play. Other than that, I got everything I wanted.
DeRozan finished with a jumper.
The Wizards led 59-55 at halftime.
Beal first denied that was the case after Game 2, but grudgingly admitted later "it does wear on you, you do get exhausted, but it's a mental game, that's not an excuse". Even if he wasn't, I still wouldn't make an excuse for it.
The shooting guard remains confident that he and the Wizards can turn things around at home. When coach Dwayne Casey was asked about CJ Miles three-point shooting ability, he said that "There's nights where the net looks like Lake Ontario to him". Once they got back in close, we understood we had to buckle down, get some stops, and with them stops get out and get easy buckets.
Wall is sticking to that script as well.
"I just let the game come to me, flow of the game".
The Raptors host Game 2 on Tuesday. Of course, but that is what has fueled the Raptors' belief since the start of the season. Wall posted a picture of him boarding a plane heading to Toronto to play the Raptors. Barkley also said: "I'm big up in Canada".