Down 3-2 in the series, the Wizards have their backs up against the wall as they face a must win Game 6 tonight vs the Toronto Raptors at Capital One Arena.
Here are what the Wizards must do to win tonight and force a Game 7 in Toronto:
The Wizards have struggled in the 4th quarters of close games all season long, and this theme has carried into the postseason. In the regular season, the Wizards ranked just 25th in the NBA in net 4th quarter rating. The 4th quarter problems continued in game 5, as the Wizards lead the Raptors 87-82 with 8:52 left in the 4th quarter before letting the Raptors outscore them by 15 points the rest of the way. The Wizards had a pivotal Game 5 road win in their grasps before letting it get away. John Wall and Bradley Beal specifically struggled in the 4th quarter, as they have all season. Wall, Beal, and Otto Porter Jr combined for just 7 points on 3-13 shooting and 4 turnovers in the 4th quarter. That’s simply not going to get it done. The Wizards as a team shot 1-10 from 3 in the 4th quarter, and even though they held DeMar DeRozan to just 2 points in the 4th, Delon Wright came off the bench for the Raptors and provided a major spark for them. Wall had some crucial turnovers late in the game, and none of the three max contract players on the Wizards were able to make shots when it counted. This has to change for the Wizards to get a Game 6 win and force a Game 7.
John Wall had 7 turnovers in Game 4, including a few devastating turnovers late in the 4th quarter. While Wall is still getting his rhythm back after missing much of the regular season, the Wizards cannot afford this many turnovers, especially as many of them were sloppy or unforced. Wall has always had problems with his turnovers, but he has to take better care of the basketball in Game 6.
After having bounce back games in Games 3 and 4, Bradley Beal struggled with his shot in Game 5. While he scored 20 points, he shot only 8-20 from the field and 3-8 from 3. Beal had a plus minus of -14, and looked drained in the second half. Especially with Otto Porter Jr questionable for Game 6 with a bone bruise in his left leg, Beal needs to find his stroke from beyond the arc again to give the Wizards a fighting chance.
– Otto Porter Jr is questionable for Game 6 with a bone bruise in his left leg, and this could spell trouble for the Wizards. The Wizards need Otto’s defense and 3 point shooting.
– Especially because this is a possible elimination game, the Wizards have to get off to a good start. If the Raptors dominate the Wizards in the 1st quarter, the Wizards could get down on themselves and have a hard time digging themselves out of the hole.