After coming off the bench for the past three games, Bradley Beal will return to the starting lineup as the Wizards attempt win their fourth consecutive game at Verizon Center against a Raptors team that has been on a similar arc this season.
The Wizards have gone 11-8 since a 4-28 start, with 10 of those victories coming after John Wall returned from injury. The Raptors have gone 17-13 after a 4-19 start and have gone 5-2 – with four consecutive wins – since acquiring Rudy Gay from Memphis on Jan. 30.
“They are playing probably as good as they’ve played, since making the trades that they’ve made,” Coach Randy Wittman said.
The Wizards open the second half of the season with 10 of their first 14 games at home and Wittman has encouraged his players to make the most of the situation. They have won their past three games at Verizon Center.
“We want to continue what we’re doing. We’ve got an opportunity, with 31 games coming out here,” Wittman said. “we’ve got a favorable schedule and we’ve got to take advantage of it. And to make some noise, we’ve got to be able to do that in these first 14 games and that leaves you with 16, 17 games and see your position, what you’re fighting for and where you’re at.”
With Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline approaching, Wittman didn’t offer any hints about what the Wizards might be doing, but he added that he isn’t against making moves, even with the team playing better in recent weeks.
“You’re always looking to improve your team. Always,” Wittman said. “Especially when you’re in our situation. We’re not by any means, I think, done looking at improving our team or in the offseason, when the season is over. I think we got to look at those scenarios that, if it makes sense for your team, to improve your team, you’ve got to look at it.”
As for the speculation regarding the Wizards, Wittman said, “A lot of turns out to be a lot of talk.”