This is an inner conference match of NBA between Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, at Scotiabank arena, the home of Raptors. This is an entertaining matchup of two, strong teams, so please review our thoughts here below.
Currently, Boston is in the 5th place of the Eastern Conference standings (37-23). They have been struggling lately as they have won 2 of their last 6 games. Before the season started, Celtics were expected to be at least top 3 in the east. But things are not going that well, so if they want to get home court advantage, they need to start winning. Overall, Celtics are a well-coached team that plays great defense. In fact, they rank in the 5th place among best defensive teams in the league (105.9 DEF RTG). Also, Celtics play unselfish basketball, as they are 6th in that category with 26.3apg. Boston has great depth as 6 of their players are scoring more than 11ppg. Celtics’ leaders this season: Kyrie Irving (23.8ppg, 6.9apg, 4.8rpg). Jason Tatum (16.4ppg, 6.3rpg) and Al Horford (13.0ppg, 6.9rpg, 4.0apg). In away games Celtics look not that good as they are 14-15.
Currently, Raptors are in the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference standings (44-16) and are looking to improve themselves to the 1st place. Recently, Raptors have been on a tear as they are on 7 games winning streak. Raptors are a very good offensive team as they score 114.4 points per game and rank in the 6the place in this category. Also, Toronto’s defense is not bad as well. They allow 107.3 points per 100 attacks and this is a pretty good result, compared to other teams. Recently, they traded Jonas Valanciunas for Marc Gasol and this trade definitely improved Toronto’s offense. Pascal Siakam has been playing well lately. In his last 10 games averages 22.1ppg and gets 6.9rpg. Also, Jeremy Lin was added to the team and he fits in very well, while playing off the bench. This season’s leaders for Raps: Kawhi Leonard (26.9ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.9stlpg), Pascal Siakam (16.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 2.9apg), Serge Ibaka (15.9ppg, 8.1rpg), and Kyle Lowry (14.4ppg, 9.1apg). At home, Raptors are almost unbeatable, as their record while playing at Scotiabank arena is 25-5.
Earlier this season, these two teams saw each other 3 times and this is their last matchup in the 2018-2019 NBA’s regular season. Boston is leading this series 2-1 and looks to grab this important win. For Toronto, it is a very important game because they need to get those wins if they want to compete for the 1st seed of the Eastern Conference. Fred Van Vleet will miss this game for the Raptors. Aaron Baynes won’t play for the Celtics. Last time these teams met each other, was in Boston and Celtics came victorious 117-108. Toronto’s leaders in this game: Kawhi Leonard (33pts, 4rebs, 4stls, 11-11FT), Serge Ibaka (22pts, 10rebs), Danny Green (15pts, 6rebs), Kyle Lowry (10pts, 7ast, 6rebs). Boston’s leaders were: Kyrie Irving (27pts, 18ast, 5rebs, 7tos), Al Horford (24pts, 7rebs), Gordon Hayward (18pts, 5ast), Jason Tatum (16pts, 10rebs).
Article Image Taken from raptorsrapture.com/2019/01/17/toronto-raptors-grades-late-loss-celtics/