Eastern Conference Playoff Preview: (4) Toronto Raptors vs (5) Washington Wizards

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The NBA Playoffs are upon us, and the first matchup on the docket is the fourth seeded Toronto Raptors against the fifth seeded Washington Wizards.

Two of the younger up-and-coming teams in the league are both facing some big expectations. The Raptors who are fresh off of their second straight Atlantic Division title are going to want to change what happened last year. They fell victim to a game 7 heartbreaker against the Brooklyn Nets and were sent home packing after just the first round.

That’s not the only piece of history the Raptors are trying to fix however. Last time the Raptors advanced to the second round, the year was 2001 and they had a player by the name Vince Carter.

On the other side, there is the Washington Wizards led by John Wall. They’ve been talked about a lot on social media sites and talk shows, but not for the right reasons. A bad coaching job by Randy Wittman has been all the rage with the league’s fans. Clear images of his coaching came in the last few games they played that went into overtime.

This is a team who hasn’t changed much from their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals lineup last season. Although, it seemed like the only times they were talked about this year was when either John Wall made a 360-layup or they lost.

This post season has added pressure for the Wizards as well. A first round loss very well could be a career changing event for Randy Wittman, and it could also mean there’s a roster change coming soon. Not only are those usual implications in play, but Paul Pierce has also decided to throw some trash talk in the mix. Pierce said in an interview that he doesn’t think the Raptors have the “it” factor that makes them worried at all. So, now it’s time to backup the talking.

As the first matchup to kick off the 2015 NBA Playoffs, this should still be an entertaining game with the battle of guards that’s going to go down. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan versus John Wall and Bradley Beal is the type of the guard battle you pay to see.

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