After a frustrating Game 1 loss to the Celtics on Sunday, the Toronto Raptors have been prescribed many antidotes for their struggles.
Some have said it was just a make or miss blip on the radar. After all, guys like Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry probably won’t shoot 8-for-28 again in this series (one would hope), and even a relatively small return to the mean would make up a lot of ground for Toronto.
Some have said this just isn’t a great matchup, that the Celtics have the defensive personnel to shut down the Raptors’ transition game and force them to generate half-court looks. Probably too soon to tell on this one, but a 4-1 record against Toronto this season is starting to show a pretty good sample size. Many are nervous.
Some have said that one breakout performance from Pascal Siakam could solve everything. Even in a passive 5-for-16 performance, Siakam showed he can get to his preferred spots on the court against Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart — it’s just the finishing that has to improve.
No matter what the prescription, Game 2 will go a long way in showing what the Raptors are made of. They’ve said all the right things over the last 48 hours — they’re frustrated, and ready to play with a higher intensity than they showed in Sunday’s opener. We’ll soon see if the Celtics can use their principles to beat a more focused Raptors team — you can safely bank on that being the squad that shows up today.
As for the news coming into the game, lineups and injuries look to remain the same heading in. Both fanbases are having their hey day worrying about Tony Brothers, who will officiate this game along with Zach Zarba and Sean Corbin. At the very least, it’ll be enough to inflame the comments sections if things go sideways, right?
To get more on Game 2, read this morning’s preview from Muad Issa. Daniel Hackett also had an excellent breakdown of the Raptors’ Game 1 shooting if you missed it. Once your reading material is finished, head to the comments.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet, 5:30 PM EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Boston – Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis
Toronto – Oshae Brissett (knee – out), Patrick McCaw (knee – out)
Boston – Tremont Waters (knee – out), Javonte Green (knee – out), Gordon Hayward (ankle – out)