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Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« on: January 03, 2021, 09:43:52 PM »

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  at 
Boston Celtics (4-3)  at  Toronto Raptors (1-4)
Monday, January 4, 2021
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #8, Road Game #5
TV: NBCSB, SN, NBA-LP
Radio: WBZ-FM, CJCL
Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL




Probable Celtics Starters
PG SG SF PF C
PG:  Marcus Smart
SG:  Jaylen Brown
SF:  Jayson Tatum
PF:  Daniel Theis
C:   Tristan Thompson

Celtics Reserves
Carsen Edwards
Aaron Nesmith
Semi Ojeleye
Payton Pritchard
Tremont Waters
Grant Williams
Jeff Teague
Tacko Fall
Robert Williams

Injuries

Romeo Langford (wrist) out
Kemba Walker (knee) out
Javonte Green (covid 19 protocols) day to day

Head Coach
Brad Stevens




Probable Starters 
PG SG SF PF C
PG:  Kyle Lowry
SG:  Fred VanVleet
SF: OG Anunoby
PF:   Pascal Siakam
C:   Aron Baynes

Raptors Reserves

Terence Davis
Jalen Harris
Paul Watson
Malachi Flynn
Stanley Johnson
Yuta Watanabe
Matt Thomas
Norman Powell
Chris Boucher
Alex Len
DeAndre Bembry

Injuries

Patrick McCaw (knee) out

Head Coach

Nick Nurse

Game Notes
The Celtics and Raptors meet for the first time since the Celtics won a hard fought 7 game series in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in the Bubble.  The Raptors are playing this season in Tampa, Florida because travel in and out of Canada would have been too difficult considering the pandemic. 

After posting a 53Ė19 record for a .736 winning percentage last season, which was the best winning percentage in franchise history, the Raptors have had a very slow start this season, winning just 1 of their first 5 games.  They are starting the same players as last season with the exception of former Celtic Aron Baynes starting in place of Marc Gasol, so there shouldn't be that much of a drop off. 

These two teams will face each other again on February 12 and March 4, with both games being played in Boston.   The Celtics are playing on the second night of back to back games after a 122-120 win over the Pistons.  They also had to travel from Detroit to Tampa after the game.  The Raptors last played on Saturday when they lost 120-116 at the Pelicans. 

The Celtics will be missing Kemba Walker (knee) and Romeo Langford (wrist) as they have all season so far.  Javonte Green is still questionable due to health and safety protocols (Covid).  For the Raptors, Patrick McCaw is out as he rehabs from knee surgery. 

Key Matchups
vs
Marcus Smart vs Kyle Lowry
Lowry is the longest tenured Raptor and is their leader.  He is averaging 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game this season.  This should be a good matchup and Marcus will need to play tough defense to keep him from having a big game.

vs
Jaylen Brown vs Fred VanVleet
VanVleet is leading the Raptors with 19.2 points, 5.0 rebounds 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals.  If the Celtics don't play tough defense on him, he is capable of taking over a game.  Jaylen has been playing at an elite level and the Celtics will need that from him again in this game.

Honorable Mention
Daniel Theis vs Pascal Siakam
Siakam has had a rough start to the season, but is still averaging 16.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists.  He is shooting just 39.4% from the field and 28% from beyond the arc.  He sat out Toronto's only win for disciplinary reasons.  Daniel Theis will be tasked with keeping him from getting back on track in this game. 

Keys to the Game
Defense - Defense will always be the key to winning.  The Celtics had a top 4 defense last season but for some reason, this season they have struggled on the defensive end.  The Raptors have not been on the defensive end with a defensive rating of 104.3 (6th). The Celtics are 24th with a defensive rating of 112.0.  They must get back to making defense a priority and give a better effort on that end of the court. 

Rebound
- The Celtics can't score if they don't have the ball and one of the best ways to get extra possessions is to crash the boards and beat their opponents to rebounds on both ends of the court.  The Raptors are averaging 44.0 rebounds per game (17th) while the Celtics are averaging 42.1 rebound per game (25th).  Much of rebounding is effort and the Celtics must put out more effort to beat the Raptors on the boards. 

Run and Move the Ball - There are times when the Celtics look like they are running in sand.  They walk or jog up the court instead of running and it gives the opponent time to set up the defense and that makes it harder to get quality shots.  They need to run up the court and they need to move the ball and look for the open man and not play hero ball. 

Play 48 Minutes -  The Celtics need to come out strong and not allow the Raptors to get any confidence and not to build any type of lead.  They also have to continue to play hard through the final buzzer.  Too often they get a lead and then let up and allow the opponent to catch up and beat them or make the game much harder than it should be. 

X-Factors
Don't Underestimate - The Raptors may have just 1 win on the season but they are not a team to underestimate.  They are starting 4 of the same players they started when they took the Celtics to 7 games in the playoffs plus a tough Aron Baynes in the 5th spot.  The Raptors also had double digit leads in each of their first 3 losses and if the Celtics take them for granted,  they are very capable of making the Celtics pay. 

Back to Back - The Celtics are playing on the second night of back to back games and had to travel after Sunday's game.  Fatigue could be a problem down the stretch for them.  It will be even more important for the Celtics to come out strong and focus on building an early lead and playing hard throughout the game. 

Officiating - While rarely is officiating a reason for a win or a loss, it can always be an x-factor.  Every game is called differently.  Some games are called tightly and some games are allowed to be more physical.  The Celtics have to adjust to the way the game is being called. 

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 09:46:56 PM »

Online cdcd

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Go Cs!

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2021, 09:48:49 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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TP to  cdcd   for being the first to post in the game thread!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Celtics!!

Beat the Raptors!!!! 

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 09:49:53 PM »

Offline libermaniac

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El Segundo? Go Cs. Letís distance ourselves from .500.

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 09:50:14 PM »

Offline Tr1boy

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I expect to see a healthy does of Timelord in tomorrow game


Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 10:11:45 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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let's build the winning streak. 

TP FL

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2021, 03:46:43 AM »

Offline liam

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YEAH,BABY!!!!!

We got this11111111111

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2021, 03:51:50 AM »

Offline Jiri Welsch

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LET'S GO CELTICS

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 04:21:06 AM »

Offline Rikibellevie

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El Segundo? Go Cs. Letís distance ourselves from .500.

LG C's! And lets distance the Raptors too, a difference of 4 wins isn't nothing even at this stage of the season.

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 04:28:20 AM »

Offline Somebody

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Let's go Celtics!
Jaylen for All-NBA

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 05:34:15 AM »

Online RodyTur10

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El Segundo? Go Cs. Letís distance ourselves from .500.

LG C's! And lets distance the Raptors too, a difference of 4 wins isn't nothing even at this stage of the season.

A good team may fall out of the 1-8 seeds. Winning this game makes it a lot more likely that this team could be the Raptors instead of the Celtics. Although I fully expect the Celtics to make the playoffs anyway.
Rationalism over beliefs

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 01:06:14 PM »

Offline bdm860

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Smart's questionable and Teague is out.

Tonight's guard rotation could be interesting.


After 18 months with their Bigs, the Littles were: 46% less likely to use illegal drugs, 27% less likely to use alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2021, 01:22:20 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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Smart's questionable and Teague is out.

Tonight's guard rotation could be interesting.


with Teague out, I expect Smart will play.  expect a lot of Pritchard tonight.  god help me if they have to resort to Edwards or Waters on the court.

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2021, 01:31:39 PM »

Offline PAOBoston

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Segababa against a very hungry team. Think Toronto is due to break out at some point.

Re: Celtics (4-3) at Raptors (1-4) Game #8 1/4/21
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2021, 01:54:02 PM »

Online Silas

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Let's go Cs!  Make it two in a row.
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