Game On: Wizards-Raptors preview

Game On: Wizards-Raptors preview
February 18, 2014, 2:00 pm
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The Wizards not only had one day of between the All-Star Game and their next regular-season matchup, but it's the first of a home-and-away back-to-back. 

TV: Wizards Central pregame show begins 6:30 ET on CSN. Tipoff from Verizon Center is at 7 and Wizards Postgame Live comes immediately after the game ends. Radio: 106.7 FM.

Last game: Wizards (25-27) lost at the Houston Rockets 113-112 on Wednesday, their last game before the All-Star break; Raptors (28-24) beat the Atlanta Hawks 104-83 on Wednesday. 

Last meeting: The Wizards lost 101-88 at Verizon Center on Jan. 3, coming out flat in the third quarter in which they were outscored 36-16. 

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –  PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Nene, C Marcin Gortat. Raptors –- PG Kyle Lowry, SG DeMar DeRozan, SF Terrence Ross, PF Patrick Patterson, C Jonas Valanciunas.

Entry passes: 1). Defensive effort, which was lacking in the last meeting, has to be there or Patterson will terrorize again with his mid-range game. 2). Gortat needs to be kept engaged offensively throughout the game and not just the first quarter. 3). More bench scoring. 4). Will backcourt of Wall and Beal be re-energized by All-Star weekend and come out strong, or will it be the opposite? 

X-factor: F Al Harrington (right knee) said previously that he planned to return after the All-Star break. 

He said it: "Now you focus on your ultimate goal, being a playoff team." -- Wall on returning from the All-Star break. 

Around the bend: The Wizards will depart immediately after the game and travel to Atlanta, where they play the Hawks on Wednesday (CSN, 7:30).