Now that was the Toronto Raptors we’re used to seeing!
For the first time all series, the Raptors outscored the Celtics in the first quarter. While Boston played valiantly to keep the game close, there never was a sense that they could ever catch the Raptors. Toronto stayed in control, leading by at least five points throughout the fourth quarter.
Tune into the latest episode as Jason (recording from his relative’s basement because ball is life) joins me to break down Toronto’s pivotal series-tying Game 4 victory.
In This Episode:
2:00 — Hustle hard
The Raptors are not known for crashing the glass (#24 in NBA) while the Celtics are (#6). Through three quarters, roles were reversed and Toronto held an 8-1 advantage that helped fuel the Raptors healthy lead to start the 4th.
3:30 — Rain and drought from beyond the arc
The largest discrepancy in the stat sheet was the +10 advantage for Toronto in threes made. With these teams as closely matched as predicted, the hot shooting from Boston in Game 1 is a tidy bookend to the tight games in between. Good news for Toronto is their 17-for-44 performance, while a series best, is on par with what should be expected (as opposed to an outlier).
4:40 — Containing a Raptor killer
There’s no denying Kemba Walker’s position as the premiere Raptors killer. He proved that in Game 3, almost leading Boston to an insurmountable 3-0 series lead. Toronto did an excellent job getting the ball out of his hands, limiting him to only 9 field goal attempts.
7:45 — Bench serves its purpose
Toronto’s bench, a perceived advantage heading into the series, was out-scored again. But this time around, its impact was finally felt in a positive manner.
9:10 — Starter fatigue?
Paging Mike Budenholzer! For the second game in a row, with the threat of losing a third game hanging in the balance, Nick Nurse rode three of his starters for the entirety of the second half. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet were joined this time by Pascal Siakam (in Game 3 that honour fell to OG Anunoby). When push comes to shove, Nurse has shown a willingness to play in the moment and that’s been as instrumental as any tactic leading to the victory.