Boston has been using the slogan / mantra / tagline / hashtag of C Us Rise over the last two seasons. With only one quarter of the season remaining, the Celtics still haven’t jelled like they did last season, which made this the perfect opportunity to bring in Adam Corsair, of the South of the 6ix podcast, to discuss all things Raptors/Celtics. As a Rhode Island resident and Raptors die-hard fan, Adam’s insight on life in “enemy territory” was a welcome addition to this week’s episode.
On This Week’s Episode:
After laying an egg on Sunday against Orlando, the Raptors played one of their most complete games of the season against the Celtics. Toronto was clicking on offense (33 assists is the third-highest total of the season) and menacing on defense (Kyrie Irving held to 7 points, his lowest total in a loss this season). Was this beat-down a result of the Raptors’ growing chemistry or the Celtics’ continued downfall?
With only 20 games left in the season, it appears Toronto is fairly secure as the second seed. Having to overcome three games in the loss column, plus one for the tiebreaker, would appear to be too much to surpass Milwaukee for the top spot — especially considering they also have an easy schedule remaining. If there’s a team the Raptors should fear most in the East playoffs, who would that be? Is there a preferable playoff matchup you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments.
Not only are the Raptors likely not moving up, but with an even larger cushion (4.5 games ahead of Indiana) ahead of the third seed, an argument could be made that Toronto could “coast” until the end of the regular season. With that in mind, should we expect more load maintenance for Kawhi Leonard? What about Kyle Lowry, with his back? Does Fred VanVleet get brought back at a slower, more cautious rate?
Speaking of FVV, his injury, as much as it sucks, has been a blessing in disguise for the bench unit. Jeremy Lin has fit in nicely in his first few games. His ability as a playmaker, plus his high basketball IQ has endeared himself to his teammates and the fans. The domino effect, ideally, would be that he continues that role, even after VanVleet returns. FVV has struggled this season when stepping outside his comfort zone and trying to be the Kyle Lowry-type playmaker for the bench. With Lin handling the rock, FVV can thrive as another three-point threat/option.
Pascal Siakam will win the Most Improved Player award this season. That’s the paragraph.
Toronto and Boston are perpetually linked sports cities, whether it’s Red Sox-Blue Jays, Bruins-Maple Leafs, or even Revolution-TFC. But the Celtics, by virtue of location and division, would appear to be the Raptors’ (current) main rival. Or is that rival actually Washington? What about the Nets, and our storied (and most tortured) history with Brooklyn/New Jersey?
Toronto continues the revenge tour against opponents they had previously lost to this week. Home games against Portland and Houston, with a visit to Detroit (a.k.a. Toronto West) sandwiched between, call to mind three heart-breaking losses. Will we see the Raptors team that dismantled playoff foes like the Spurs and Celtics? Or will the Toronto team that lacked focus against the Magic rear their ugly head again?
3:25 - The Raptors’ beat-down of the Celtics
5:00 - Does Toronto’s inferiority complex still exist?
7:25 - Bouncing back from a poor showing vs. the Magic
8:35 - Was this game a product of the Raptors’ chemistry improving or the Celtics’ teamwork deteriorating?
13:30 - Is there a team the Raptors should fear facing in the playoffs?
20:54 - More. Load. Management.
29:20 - Jeremy Lin’s impact and how he’ll integrate once VanVleet returns
38:20 - Pascal Siakam = M.I.P.
39:35 - Who is the Raptors’ biggest rival?
47:50 - Upcoming revenge games against Portland, Detroit, and Houston