RaptorsHQ Rapid Recap - Boston Celtics 81 - Toronto Raptors 73


-Are we about to watch a bizarro-version of the Toronto Raptors in 2011-12? It may seem that way as in their second, and final preseason match, the Dinos held an opponent to under 40 per cent shooting from the field, yet still lost. TO lost in Boston in the second game of the preseason "home-and-home" series, 81 to 73, and while their D was passable, their offence...not so much.

-Let's start with the team offense then shall we? Toronto hit only 24 of the 74 shots they attempted, good for 32 per cent on the night. It's pretty hard to win games when you shoot at that level and if you're hitting only one of your 17 shots from downtown, that certainly makes things worse. The Raps fired blanks all night and despite a mediocre showing from Boston, who was without Paul Pierce again, couldn't get the W.

-Individually Toronto had few bright spots either. From a scoring perspective, Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Jerryd Bayless, who started, pumped in a combined 48 of the team's points. However they were 15 of 46 from the field and considering they logged nearly 100 minutes together, you can see why the club struggled to put the ball in the basket. Bargs also regressed to last year (or should we say "every year previous to this one") status grabbing only four rebounds and lacking the intensity level he displayed in Toronto's last match against the C's. However he was hardly alone in terms of blame as DeMar DeRozan was minus 11 on the night, and Bayless had only three assists despite getting the start and a ton of minutes.

-Boston's superior talent shone through as this one went on the club was able to give all 16 dressed members some run in the end. Rajon Rondo led the way scoring-wise with 17 and others like Brandon Bass and E'Twaun Moore hit double figures.

-That concludes a brisk preseason now for the Raptors and they head back to Toronto with their work cut out for them. The team showed a few positives on D in game one of this two-parter, but there was little of that tonight and the offense in both matches was fairly putrid. Even the fact that the Raps held the C's to under 40% shooting tonight is a little overblown since most of that came against a young and error-prone Boston second and third unit. However the D was at least heading in the right direction one could argue and considering that the Dinos as a whole won various other statistical categories like rebounding and turnovers, it's this horrific offensive execution that needs markedly improve if the club wants to get a win on Boxing Day evening in Cleveland to kick off the season.

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