Less than 24 hours after their 113-101 win over the Boston Celtics, the Toronto Raptors return to the court on Saturday to play another Eastern Conference foe.
In their first away game of the season, the Raptors will travel to Washington to play John Wall's Wizards at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch the game on TSN2 and listen to it on TSN 1050 Toronto.
Here's what to watch for in what should be an exciting rematch of last season's playoff opening-round series...
What to watch for the Toronto Raptors
Not only will this be the first road game for the Raptors this season. It'll be the first of a dozen back-to-backs.
Based on how competitive last night's game was, it should come as no surprise that the Raptors have decided to rest Kawhi for this one. The two-time All-Star logged 36 minutes against the Celtics and scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds, three assists and one steal.
After missing all but nine games last season, Kawhi hasn't played in a back-to-back since April of 2017. And even then, he only saw 14 minutes of action that night because San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich chose to rest him in the lead-up to the playoffs.
With Kawhi on the sideline, it'll give everyone else on the Raptors an opportunity to step up. In the season opener, it was Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam who made their presence felt the most. Against the Celtics, it was Lowry, VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Danny Green.
Ibaka's showing, in particular, was an encouraging sign for Toronto. He matched Kyrie Irving's scoring output on Friday (21 points) and the Raptors outscored the Celtics by 16 points with him on the court, giving him the fourth-best +/- of the game.
While the offence might not be there every night for Ibaka, his defence, rebounding and shooting at the center position is invaluable to this Raptors team.
What to watch for the Washington Wizards
The Wizards are coming off of a tough season-opening loss to the Miami Heat. They led after three quarters, but Miami outscored Washington 28-23 in the fourth to win by a final score of 113-112.
Kelly Olynyk played the hero for the Heat, coming out of nowhere for an offensive rebound and putback in the closing seconds of the game to put them ahead for good.
The Canadian wasn't the only member of the Heat to punish the Wizards on the boards, though, as Miami pulled down a total of 22 offensive rebounds on the night and turned those into a whopping 27 second-chance points.
You can expect the Wizards to make defensive rebounding a point of emphasis against a Raptors team that finished around league average in offensive rebounding last season.
As for individual players to watch, all eyes should be on John Wall, who was impressive on Thursday. In 35 minutes of action, the five-time All-Star scored 26 points and dished out nine assists. How he performs this season will go a long way in determining whether or not the Wizards will be legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Someone else who can help the Wizards compete this season? Dwight Howard, who signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the team this offseason. He missed the season opener, but there's a chance Howard will make his Wizards debut in this one.
With him on the court, teams will have a much harder time attacking the offensive glass.