Title: How the Wizards’ John Wall exploited the Raptors’ defence in Game 3
Date: April 21, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I examined how John Wall picked apart the Raptors’ defense in a Game 3 victory for the Wizards.
The Washington Wizards scored 122.2 points per-100 possessions in their Game 3 victory over the Toronto Raptors, picking them apart in transition and the pick-and-roll. There are a lot of things the Raptors will be working on between now and Game 4 on Sunday, and how they handled Washington’s stars figures to be chief among them – John Wall and Bradley Beal completely controlled the game, combining for 56 points on 50 possessions themselves, plus 10 rebounds and 18 assists. This series was largely going to be dictated on how each team’s stars played – and how they defended each other’s stars – and the Wizards won the Game 3 battle on that front decisively.
“We knew what they were going to do. Which kind of makes it a little bit more frustrating because we couldn’t figure out a way to stop the bleeding in some spots,” C.J. Miles said after the game. “John and Bradley did what they’re supposed to do. They stepped up. Their back was against the wall, two All-Stars, they played extremely well, and the other guys made some shots, too. It wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t think it was going to be easy.”
The Raptors did a better job in Games 1 and 2. Over those two games, the Wizards scored 0.84 points per-possession when the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll finished a possession, a fairly average mark. Beal looked off his game. Wall did damage but mostly within the context of what the Raptors were willing to concede, outside of his work off of turnovers.