Toronto Raptors were put to the test at tonight’s game to see if they could start their season off with a bang.
The Raptors’ starters had some lingering nerves as they let the Boston Celtics walk on the court and gain an 8-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game. Landry Fields gave the team a push, as he put up six points in the first quarter. Toronto thrived off Fields’ energy and began to read the defense and put some points on the board.
The Raps came into the second quarter with a fierce start and had the lead with a sixteen-point difference. Boston was lacking scoring opportunities in the second and only had 11 points compared to Toronto’s 28.
But, don't look too far ahead; Raptors weren’t walking out of the game without Boston aggressively fighting back. During the third quarter, Boston took control of the game, benefited on Raptors turnovers, and made the easy transition buckets. Toronto in the third period alone had 9 turnovers, 13 assists, and allowed Boston to score 34 points.
During the fourth, Tyler Hansbrough kept the Raptors in it early with hustle plays, tip dunks, a block on Green and most importantly, key rebounds. The crucial sequence that turned the game around began with Amir Johnson hitting a three, DeMar DeRozan taking a charge on Vitor Faverani and Rudy Gay’s concerted attack.
The game ended off with a score of 93-87.
Boston’s post Kelly Olynyk showed inexperience but good hustle. As well, coach Brad Stevens for the Celtics demonstrated adaptability; changing his strategy in the third quarter and focused on good ball movement. Unfortunately, this team didn’t have the tools to win.
This game was indicative of the best and the worst of the Raptors. While it may not have been a pretty start to the season, there is still a lot of reason for optimism.
Sarah’s Eye: For the boys thinking of sporting the newly inspired Kelly Olynyk flow, take it from me boys, use lots of conditioner and get the regular trims.
Up next for the Dinos...the Atlanta Hawks...