The Celtics shut out the primary half of the season by internet hosting the brief handed Toronto Raptors. That is the third assembly between these two groups this season. The Celtics received each of the earlier conferences. They received 126-114 in Tampa on January 4 after which they received 120-106 in Boston on February 11.
The Celtics have moved as much as 4th once more within the East, nonetheless 5 video games behind first place Philadelphia. They’re 11-5 at residence and 5-5 of their final 10 video games. They’re searching for their 4th straight win. The Raptors are seventh within the East, one sport behind the Celtics. They’re 9-10 on the street and 5-5 of their final 10 video games.
The Raptors are enjoying on the second night time of again to again video games. They misplaced 129-105 at residence to the Pistons on Wednesday. Their Wednesday sport was initially scheduled for Tuesday however attributable to covid protocols, it was postponed till Wednesday, giving them a again to again set that wasn’t initially scheduled. The Raptors are 1-5 on the second night time of again to again video games.
The Raptors come into this sport very brief handed. Nick Nurse and 5 of their assistant coaches are quarantined attributable to covid protocols. Additionally they have 5 gamers together with OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, Patrick McCaw, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet, out attributable to covid protocols. Their lone assistant, Sergio Scariolo, who had been in Spain and simply cleared quarantine on Friday, will coach the staff. Marcus Good and Romeo Langford stay out for the Celtics.
Possible Celtics Starters
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Daniel Theis
C: Tristan Thompson
Robert Williams III
Romeo Langford (wrist) out
Marcus Good (calf) out
Possible Raptors Starters
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Terence Davis II
SF: Norman Powell
PF: Chris Boucher
C: Aron Baynes
Paul Watson, Jr
Patrick McCaw (covid) out
OG Anunoby (covid) out
Malachi Flynn (covid) out
Pascal Siakam (covid) out
Fred VanVleet (covid) out
Kemba Walker vs Kyle Lowry
Lowry is averaging 18 factors, 5.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals per sport. He often performs very properly towards the Celtics. Within the 2 video games this season, he averaged 21 factors, 3 rebounds, 5.5 assists and a couple of steals. Kemba has been enjoying very properly previously few video games and hopefully will proceed that on this sport.
Jayson Tatum vs Norman Powell
With each Siakam and VanVleet out, Norman Powell turns into a key participant for the Raptors and he has been delivering for them. He’s averaging 17.7 factors, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per sport. He scored 30 factors on Friday and 36 factors on Wednesday in his two begins. He has the power to place up factors. Tatum struggled on Tuesday towards the Clippers and hopefully will get again on observe on this sport.
Honorable Point out
Daniel Theis vs Chris Boucher
Boucher is averaging 13.0 factors, 6.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and a couple of.0 blocks per sport. The Celtics want to look at for him after they go into the paint as a result of he can block pictures in the event you aren’t conscious of the place he’s.
Keys to the Sport
Protection – Protection will all the time be the important thing to successful. The Celtics are 14th with a defensive score of 110.8 whereas the Raptors usually are not far behind them at sixteenth with a defensive score of 111.3. The Raptors allowed a Pistons staff with 7 gamers out to attain 129 factors on Wednesday and they also aren’t precisely enjoying lock down protection. The Celtics should get again to creating protection a precedence and provides a greater effort on that finish of the court docket.
Rebound – The Celtics can’t rating in the event that they don’t have the ball and probably the greatest methods to get further possessions is to crash the boards and beat their opponents to rebounds on each ends of the court docket. The Raptors are final within the league, averaging 41.9 rebounds per sport whereas the Celtics are averaging 43.9 rebound per sport. A lot of rebounding is effort and the Celtics should put out extra effort to beat the Raptors on the boards.
Transfer the Ball – The Celtics want to maneuver the ball extra. They’ve means too many possessions the place just one or 2 gamers contact the ball and the place nearly all of the shot clock is one participant dribbling round looking for his personal shot. The Celtics are far more efficient after they transfer the ball and discover the open man and never over-dribble. After they have greater than 20 assists they win as a rule. After they have fewer than 20 assists, they often battle.
Play Targeted 48 Minutes – The Celtics appear to lose focus for intervals throughout every sport the place they flip the ball over and might’t appear to hit a shot. Additionally they battle to get stops on the opposite finish. They should keep centered for 48 minutes and never quit these runs to the opposite staff, particularly in the previous few minutes of the sport.
Be Aggressive – The Celtics should play with a chip on their shoulders. They should get again to having a swagger on the court docket. They’ve allowed groups to play tougher than the them and that ought to by no means be. They’ve to return out robust and so they should play arduous and aggressively for 48 minutes. Even groups with much less expertise can beat them on any given night time if they permit these groups to play tougher than them.
Brief Handed Raptors – It looks like the Celtics come right into a sport towards a brief handed or weak staff and count on to win with out having to place out any effort and sometimes lose due to it. The Raptors misplaced to the Pistons 129-105 on Wednesday and the Celtics might have a look at that and count on a straightforward win. They’ll’t underestimate these Raptors as a result of they nonetheless have sufficient expertise on the staff to beat the Celtics if they arrive out flat and don’t play with effort, particularly for the reason that Raptors already misplaced to the Celtics twice and shall be trying to avenge these losses.
Officiating – Whereas hardly ever is officiating a motive for a win or a loss, it may all the time be an x-factor. Each sport known as in another way. Some video games are known as tightly and a few video games are allowed to be extra bodily. Too usually this season, gamers have misplaced focus as they complain about fouls, or lack of foul calls. The Celtics have to regulate to the way in which the sport is being known as and never lose focus if calls aren’t going their means.