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.