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Raptors Vs. Wizards Pregame Notes: Lineup Changes, JaVale McGee, More

UPDATE: Looks like the Wizards will make a lineup change after all, although not for a veteran presence. Chris Singleton will start in place of Rashard Lewis, who is sitting out with a sore knee.


WASHINGTON -- Interim coach Randy Wittman said he wanted to "sprinkle in" a new veteran presence to help balance the Wizards youth on the court, but that doesn't mean a change in the starting lineup for tonight's Raptors vs. Wizards game. Instead, he will try more subtle tinkering.

"Maybe different rotations," Wittman said before the game. "Things of that nature. I'm looking at a lot of different things. That's what you try to do."

The last time the Raptors visited the Verizon Center, then-head coach Flip Saunders inserted Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton into the frontcourt for Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche, a move that helped spark the Wizards to a 93-78 win, Washington's first of the season.

But with his veteran bench options limited to wing players Roger Mason and Mo Evans -- and rebounding a primary concern -- Wittman said he'll leave the lineup intact Monday night.

In-Game Focus: Rebounding

Here's a simple stat: The Wizards have been outrebounded 114 to 69 in their last two games, including a 61-37 by the Raptors on Feb. 3 (in fact, the Raptors had more defensive rebounds in that game -- 38 -- than the Wizards had rebounds total).

Yup, that's going to be a point of emphasis.

"The last couple games we've gotten totally destroyed on the boards," Wittman said. "Then you couple that with 37, 36, 38 percent shooting — you're not going to beat very many teams with that.

"Shooting comes and goes," he added. "Rebounding is something that's got to be a constant."

Player Spotlight: JaVale McGee

If rebounding is the focus, the spotlight is going to fall on the Wizards pivot. McGee has just 10 rebounds total in the last two games, which isn't going to get it done for Washington.

Wittman spoke before the game about getting McGee to rebound better without taking away his aggressiveness on the defensive end.

"Sometimes his shot-blocking takes him off the rebound," Wittman said. "That's something that he's got to be a little careful of."

For updates from this game, follow our Raptors vs. Wizards StoryStream. For more on the Wizards, check out Bullets Forever.