For the second straight sport, the Celtics will host the Toronto Raptors. That is the 4th and last sport between these two groups this season. The Celtics have gained all 3 earlier video games. They gained 116-110 on December 5 and 106-104 on January 21 with each of these video games in Toronto. They gained 97-93 on Wednesday in Boston. The Celtics are 65-42 total all time towards the Raptors and 39-14 in video games performed in Boston.
The Celtics at the moment are locked into 2nd place within the East. They’re 3 video games behind first place Milwaukee. They’re 3 video games forward of third place Philadelphia. The Celtics are 30-9 at residence and 7-3 of their final 10 video games. The Celtics are 32-18 towards Jap Convention opponents. They’re 10-5 towards Atlantic Division opponents. The Celtics are coming off a win of their final sport towards these similar Raptors.
The Raptors are ninth within the East. They’re 1 sport behind eighth place Atlanta. They’re 3 video games behind seventh place Miami and a pair of video games forward of tenth place Chicago. There may be nonetheless a chance that they may enhance their play-in seeding if they will win their last 2 video games and the Celtics beat the Hawks on Sunday. The Raptors are 14-26 on the street and 6-4 of their final 10 video games. They’re 25-25 towards Jap Convention opponents and 4-11 towards Atlantic Division groups. They misplaced their final sport.
Each of those groups have 2 video games left to their season. The Celtics are locked into 2nd place with Milwaukee holding onto first place and residential courtroom benefit all through the playoffs. Philadelphia is locked into third place. The Celtics will host the Hawks on Sunday whereas the Raptors will host the Bucks on Sunday for his or her last sport. If the Raptors keep in ninth place and win the play-in, they’ll face the Bucks within the first spherical. In the event that they transfer as much as eighth and win, they’d face the Celtics within the first spherical.
Making an attempt to determine the gamers who might be out is getting harder as the top of the season nears. Jayson Tatum and Al Horford ought to return for the Celtics. Derrick White (ankle), Malcolm Brogdon (again), Payton Pritchard (heel), and Marcus Good (neck) are all questionable and might be a sport time determination. If all of them are out, I actually don’t know who will begin or play the guard positions. This can be remembered because the JD Davison sport. For Toronto, Otto Porter, Jr (foot) is out.
Possible Celtics Starters
Robert Williams III
2 Manner Gamers
Danilo Gallinari (ACL) out
Derrick White (ankle) questionable
Malcolm Brogdon (again) questionable
Marcus Good (neck) questionable
Payton Pritchard (heel)
Justin Champaignie (new) questionable
Possible Raptors Starters
Gary Trent, Jr
Two Manner Gamers
Jeff Dowtin, Jr
Ron Harper, Jr
Otto Porter, Jr (foot) out
Jayson Tatum vs Pascal Siakam
Siakam is averaging 24.3 factors, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per sport this season. He’s capturing 47.7% from the sphere and 32.7% from past the arc. Within the first 3 video games between the Celtics and Raptors this season, Siakam averaged 28.7 factors, 9.3 rebounds and seven.0 assists. He shot 55% from the sphere and 22.2% from past the arc. Slowing him down might be key. Tatum sat out the final sport and so hopefully he has a giant sport on this one.
Jaylen Brown vs OG Anunoby
Anunoby is averaging 17.0 factors, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 steals. Within the first 3 video games between these two groups, Anunoby averaged 12.3 factors, 4 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.5 blocks. He performed excellent protection within the final sport and can look to make issues tough for the Celtics on this sport as nicely. The Celtics want to stick with him on protection as a result of he’s able to hitting large photographs.
Honorable Point out
Marcus Good vs Fred VanVleet
VanVleet is averaging 19.7 factors, 4.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.8 steals per sport. He’s capturing 39.7% from the sphere and 34.5% from past the arc. Within the first three video games towards the Celtics, he averaged 7.5 factors, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 blocks. He shot 17.9% from the sphere and 11.1% from past the arc. He struggled within the final sport towards the Celtics and took the blame for the loss. I anticipate him to return out sturdy on this one.
Keys to the Recreation
Protection – Protection will at all times be the important thing to profitable. The Celtics are third with a defensive score of 110.6 whereas the Raptors are eleventh with a defensive score of 113.1. If the Celtics hope to win this sport it must be with protection first. The Raptors common 52.7 factors within the paint per sport and are capturing simply 33.6% from three. The Celtics should attempt to preserve them out of the paint and pressure them to play out of their consolation zone.
Rebound – The Raptors common 43.1 rebounds per sport (sixteenth) whereas the Celtics common 45.2 rebounds per sport (seventh) The Raptors are 2nd within the league with 16.5 second probability factors per sport and so rebounding is essential to restrict these second probability baskets. A lot of rebounding is effort and hustle. The Celtics should put out extra effort to beat the Raptors to rebounds.
Take Care of the Ball – The Raptors don’t flip the ball over a lot. They’re 1st within the league with 11.7 turnovers per sport. The Celtics are sixth with 13.2 turnovers per sport. However the Celtics have been recognized to undergo spurts within the sport the place they turnover the ball on possession after possession. They have to care for the ball and restrict their turnovers. The Raptors are 1st with 21.0 factors off turnovers per sport. If the Celtics get sloppy, the Raptors will make them pay. The Raptors are additionally 2nd with 17.8 quick break factors per sport and limiting turnovers will assist in that space additionally.
Play Exhausting From Begin to End – The Celtics have began off sluggish in some video games and have needed to put out a variety of effort to catch up after which come up brief ultimately. In another video games they’ve gotten off to a giant lead after which let up on their effort, permitting their opponents to return again and forge forward for the win. The Celtics should come out with a robust effort to start out and so they must play exhausting for all the sport till the ultimate buzzer with no let up.
House Recreation – The Celtics are at residence as soon as once more and they should use use the cheers of the followers as motivation to play exhausting and to remain targeted. The Raptors are simply 14-26 on the street and hopefully the distractions of journey and taking part in in entrance of a hostile crowd will give the Celtics a bonus. That is their second straight sport in Boston and they also could also be experiencing street fatigue as nicely.
Officiating – Whereas hardly ever is officiating a purpose for a win or a loss, it might at all times be an x-factor. Each sport is known as otherwise. Some video games are referred to as tightly and a few video games are allowed to be extra bodily. The Celtics have to regulate to the best way the sport is being referred to as and concentrate on taking part in and never on the calls which are being made or not being made.