The Washington Wizards earned the eighth seed in the NBA playoffs this season and will travel to Toronto for a first-round matchup with the Raptors, beginning this Saturday.
The teams split the season series this year, 2-2, and Bradley Beal posted some impressive numbers against a good Raptors squad.
The Panda averaged 28.8 points per game through four games against Toronto, which was his fourth best scoring output against one team this season. He only averaged more against Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Portland, and he only played two games against those Western Conference opponents.
Brad will look to continue his impressive play against the Raptors when the postseason begins, and for this series, he will be joined by John Wall for the first time this season against Toronto. Wall missed all four games against the Raptors this season due to injuries, but he is back in time for the playoffs.
In his fourth career playoff appearance, BB is ready to make his mark on the league.
“This is where players are made, and everybody is trying to fight for that same goal.”
The combination of the two All-Star guards should pose a challenge to Toronto’s backcourt All-Stars, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Wall’s presence on the court will take some pressure off Brad, as well as Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris, allowing them more space to operate on the offensive end than in their previous matchups.
Wall provides a dynamic, athletic presence on the offensive end that the Raptors haven’t seen this season, and when pairing that with No. 3’s shooting touch on the outside, the Wizards’ backcourt figures to have a big series.
The Wizards will have to play more consistently than they have down the final stretch of the regular season. In the last couple of weeks of the season, the Wizards beat playoff teams, including the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs, but also lost to the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic. BB is looking forward to the challenge ahead of his team and knows they must come prepared every night of this series to come out on top.
“It’s a challenge right off the bat, playing the best team in the East right now, so we just got to make sure we’re ready to go each and every time we step foot on that floor because we know they’re going to bring it.”
The Panda said this series is going to come down to effort because of how closely these two teams matchup with each other. Beal and his teammates are ready to start the playoffs in one of the more wide open Eastern Conference races in recent memory.
Tip off for game one is slated for Saturday at 5:30pm ET on ESPN from the Air Canada Centre.