The Celtics return to Boston for his or her house opener as they host the Toronto Raptors. These two groups met within the preseason with the Celtics coming away with a 113-111 win in Toronto. Each groups come into this sport with a 0-1 document after dropping their season openers on Wednesday.
The Celtics misplaced their season opener towards the Knicks in a 138-134 double time beyond regulation thriller on the highway at Madison Sq. Backyard. The Raptors performed their first common season sport in Toronto since February 2020. They misplaced 98-83 to the Washington Wizards in a low scoring sport. The Celtics received the collection 3-0 final season.
On Wednesday, Celtics performed with out Al Horford, who had not but been launched from quarantine. He’s now out of quarantine, however listed as questionable for this sport relying on his stage of conditioning. Jaylen Brown performed proper after leaving quarantine however they might be extra cautious with Al since he’s older than Jaylen and may have extra time to get his conditioning again.
I’m considering constructive and have Al within the beginning lineup for this one. If he can’t play, I’d count on Grant Williams to get one other begin at energy ahead. Williams did job in his begin on Wednesday with 15 factors, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. He additionally shot 68% from the sphere and 60% from past the arc.
Josh Richardson was a late scratch for Wednesday’s sport after he got here down with a migraine. He’s listed as possible for this sport. Marcus Good performed 46 minutes in Wednesday’s double-OT thriller towards the Knicks and got here away with some swelling in his knee. He’s possible for this sport.
Pascal Siakam had surgical procedure on his shoulder in July and has not been cleared for contact but. He’ll probably begin contact in apply this week and should return inside the subsequent couple of weeks. Yuta Watanabe has missed the final 2 video games for the Raptors with a calf pressure and is listed as out for this sport as nicely.
The Raptors are taking part in on the primary night time of again to again video games. After this sport they are going to head again to Toronto for a Saturday sport towards the Mavericks. The Celtics don’t play once more till Sunday at Houston and Monday at Charlotte. Except the sport is shut, I’d count on the Raptors to attempt to restrict their starters’ minutes on this one.
Possible Celtics Starters
Al Horford (conditioning) questionable
Marcus Good (knee) possible
Josh Richardson (migraine) possible
Possible Raptors Starters
Gary Trent, Jr
Yuta Watanabe (calf) out
Pascal Siakam (shoulder) out
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Picture by Brian Babineau/NBAE through Getty Photographs
Jaylen Brown vs Fred VanVleet
This can be a key matchup for each groups. Jaylen Brown is coming off a 46 level profession excessive towards the Knicks however talked about some lingering issues from his bout with covid. Hopefully he’ll decide up the place he left off in that sport and have one other massive sport on this one. VanVleet put up 22 factors, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a couple of steals towards the Celtics within the preseason. He was additionally Toronto’s excessive scorer with 12 factors, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple of steals in Wednesday’s season opener. He’s all the time a menace to attain and so Jaylen might want to defend on a excessive stage as nicely.
Robert Williams III
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Robert Williams III vs Valuable Achiuwa
Robert Williams had a bit sport on Wednesday with 16 factors on 5-5 capturing, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 5 blocks. He’s a giant issue for the Celtics’ protection within the paint. He can be tasked with stopping Valuable Achiuwa who had 13 factors, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block towards the Celtics within the preseason. He additionally had 6 factors, 7 rebounds and a couple of assists on Wednesday. This must be matchup between 2 younger and athletic facilities.
Honorable Point out
Jayson Tatum vs OG Anunoby
Granted that Tatum will probably be taking part in on the three and Anunoby will probably be on the 4, however these are each essential gamers for his or her respective groups. Tatum had a horrible sport on Wednesday capturing simply 7-30 from the sphere and 2-15 from past the arc. The Celtics want him to shoot significantly better than that in the event that they hope to go anyplace this season. Anunoby can also be an essential participant for the Raptors. He has performed nicely towards the Celtics within the preseason with 17 factors, 5 rebounds and 1 help. On Wednesday, he put up 11 factors, 10 rebounds, 1 help, 2 steals and a block.
Keys to the Sport
Protection – Protection is all the time a key to successful each single sport. The Celtics struggled some on protection towards the Knicks. They need to play higher as soon as they get the entire group on the court docket as each Al Horford and Josh Richardson are key defenders. The Celtics have to be aggressive on protection and make taking part in group protection a precedence.
Rebound – Rebounding can also be a key to successful each sport. A lot of rebounding is effort and hustle. The Celtics must put out additional effort on the boards to stop the Raptors from getting second likelihood factors and further possessions and to provide themselves additional alternatives to attain.
Be Aggressive – Ime Udoka has stated that he needs the Celtics to be the group that performs tougher each sport. Too usually final season, the Celtics misplaced video games to groups they need to have beat as a result of they allowed the opposite group to play tougher than them. Towards the Knicks, the Celtics had been aggressive for a lot of the sport however had simply a few stretches the place it appeared like their opponent was taking part in tougher. They must be aggressive from the opening tip to the ultimate buzzer.
Tempo and Teamwork – The Celtics must run on each possession and transfer the ball with out lots of iso play and with out lots of dribbling round. The Celtics had 34 assists towards the Knicks and they should sustain that sort of ball motion in each sport this season. They’re simplest after they maintain the ball shifting and in addition transfer with out the ball.
Residence Opener – The Celtics are taking part in of their first house sport of the season. The Backyard crowd can be again and will give the group a raise. Younger gamers normally play higher at house and hopefully the Raptors can be feeling the outcomes of getting to journey and in addition the hostile Backyard crowd.
Well being – Accidents and covid took an enormous toll on the Celtics final season and they’re already feeling the outcomes of covid this season. Final season the highest 7 gamers by no means received to play collectively. The beginning 5 performed in simply 7 video games collectively the place they had been 6-1. Hopefully Horford, Richardson and Good can all play on this one. However, if Horford remains to be feeling the consequences of covid, it might be higher for him to sit down out this one, relatively than taking an opportunity on an harm attributable to lack of conditioning.