This is a series to look at how the Wizards stack up against their opponents in the East, where they finished 44-38 last season for a No. 5 playoff seed and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Today:
2013-14 finish: 48-34, 1st in Atlantic Division and No. 3 overall seed in East; upset in first-round of playoffs in seven games by Brooklyn Nets
Season series vs. Wizards: Won 3-1, dominating the Wizards with their pick-and-roll play until the final meeting when the game went into triple overtime.
Key losses: SF Steve Novak, SG John Salmons, SG/SF Nando De Colo.
Key additions: SF James Johnson, SG Lou Williams, PF Bruno Cabolco.
Outlook: Toronto kept all of its relevant free agents with PG Kyle Lowry, PG Greivis Vasquez and PF Patrick Patterson. This is an elite defensive team with the capability to produce firepower, and their style presents a major matchup problem for the Wizards who weren't as comfortable switching defensively. The Raptors' guards get in the paint and cause damage. The free agents they lost were insignificant and Johnson and Williams can be a potent scoring duo to give them even more punch. Don't expect Cabolco, who can't even speak English, to be a factor now. The Brazilian is a few years away from being a contributor. This team should run away with the division again and secure a top-4 seed.
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