Raptors-Wizards Preview

John Wall has been living up to the hype of being the No. 1
overall draft pick, bringing excitement to a struggling Washington
Wizards franchise while leading all rookies in scoring.

However, after Wall injured his left foot in his last game, the
Wizards may be without their young star when they host the Toronto
Raptors on Tuesday night.

After winning 45 games over the last two seasons, Washington
(2-6) isn’t off to a much better start in 2010-11. The Wizards,
though, are excited about Wall, who is averaging team highs of 18.1
points and 9.8 assists to go along with 4.0 rebounds. He has four
double-doubles and posted a triple-double in a 98-91 win over
Houston last Wednesday.

Wall, however, was wearing a walking boot after a 103-96 loss to
Chicago on Saturday. He suffered the injury in the third quarter
and returned in the fourth, but could be sidelined for a few
games.

“It’s swollen a little bit,” he said. “I sprained it. I just got
to take some days off and get treatment on it.”

Coach Flip Saunders said he would take a wait-and-see approach
with Wall for Tuesday. Forward Yi Jianlian could also be out with a
bruised right knee he suffered Saturday.

Washington did get an encouraging performance from Gilbert
Arenas, who scored a season-high 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting and
made seven of 10 3-pointers. The guard, who was dealing with an
ankle injury at the start of the season, had totaled 10 points in
his previous two games while going 3 of 21 from the field.

Arenas should be happy to be facing Toronto. He averaged 28.0
points in two meetings in 2009-10 before being suspended the final
50 games for bringing guns into the locker room.

The Raptors (2-8) continue their four-game road trip Tuesday
after splitting the first two games. Toronto surprised Orlando
110-106 on Friday before losing 109-100 to former teammate Chris
Bosh and Miami the next night.

Andrea Bargnani had 22 points and nine rebounds while DeMar
DeRozan added 21 points to keep it close against the Heat. Miami
shot 50.6 percent and led throughout.

“We know people are going to think, ‘Oh we’re playing the
Raptors,’ and OK, our record is not as good as it should be, but
we’re going to play hard for 48 minutes,” said point guard Jose
Calderon, who had a season-high 15 points. “And we’re going to give
teams a hard time. … We’re a better team than our record
says.”

The Raptors, though, continue to struggle defensively, giving up
at least 100 points in four straight games. Opponents are averaging
104.5 points and shooting 48.3 percent against them – both among
the worst marks in the league.

Washington lost two of three to Toronto last season, falling in
109-107 in overtime in the one game at the Verizon Center. That was
the Wizards’ third consecutive home loss to the Raptors, which have
come by a combined nine points.

Four of the teams’ last eight meetings in Washington have gone
to overtime.