A lack of scoring from Gilbert Arenas(notes) is starting to become a concern for the Washington Wizards. Perhaps his first matchup against the Toronto Raptors in three seasons will help the star guard get back on track.
Following one of their worst games of the season offensively, the Wizards hope Arenas can continue his success against the Raptors on Tuesday night.
Washington (5-10) failed to win three in a row for the first time since April 2008, shooting 38.5 percent in a 92-76 loss to Charlotte on Saturday night. The Wizards’ matched their lowest-scoring output of the season from a 90-76 loss to Miami on Nov. 10.
Washington was able to beat the Heat 98-84 on Friday night despite getting nine points from Arenas, but it was in need of much more than the six he scored versus the Bobcats. Arenas has been held under 10 points in consecutive games for the first time since March 29-30, 2002, in his rookie season.
“What do you expect me to do? Go out there and score 30?” Arenas said. “I take the shots when I think they’re suitable for me … I still have my explosiveness. I’m just trying to figure out when to use it.”
Arenas has been trying to settle down after missing most of the past two seasons due to knee injuries, but he’s averaging 20.1 points and shooting 39.2 percent after posting 28.4 points a contest in 2006-07. Arenas has missed the Wizards’ last seven games versus the Raptors after averaging 31.8 points and shooting 43.8 percent from 3-point range in his previous six against them.
This will be Arenas’ first matchup with Toronto since scoring 34 points in Washington’s 123-118 overtime loss March 30, 2007.
Arenas isn’t the only Wizards star that struggled against Charlotte. Antawn Jamison(notes) had six points and was held without a rebound for the first time since Washington’s 101-73 loss to San Antonio on Jan. 17, 2005.
Jamison, selected fourth overall by the Raptors in 1998 before being traded to Golden State in a draft-day deal, is averaging 24.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in his last two games at Toronto.
The Raptors have lost three straight and seven of nine.
“I’ll try anything. Whatever it takes to win,” Bosh told the Raptors’ official Web site. “That’s my position on everything - just have to turn this thing around and find a way to win basketball games.”
The 6-foot-10 forward, though, can’t do much to help Toronto from 3-point range. The Raptors went 1 for 20 from beyond the arc against the Suns in their worst long-range shooting performance since an 0-for-6 performance in a 104-84 loss to Indiana on Feb. 24, 1999.
Toronto wasn’t exceptional from 3-point range against Washington last season, making 37.0 percent of its attempts, but won two of the three matchups.
Bosh was unusually effective finding the open man out of the low post, averaging 5.3 assists.
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