The Toronto Raptors kick off a two game mini-series with the Boston Celtics tonight in Boston. Both teams are on night two of back to back games. The Raptors played last night against the Charlotte Hornets, while the Celtics lost a close game to the Philadelphia 76ers.
These two upcoming games mean a lot to both teams. The Raptors are in a race to the Play-In Tournament, currently holding the ninth seed in the East. Above them are the Atlanta Hawks, who they are tied with, but the Hawks hold the tiebreaker over the Raptors. Below them are the Bulls, and the Raptors hold that tiebreaker over them. With the Raptors next (and last) three games being Boston, Boston, Milwaukee, it seems slightly out of reach to obtain the seventh or even eighth seed in the East and get a better Play-In scenario.
Yet, the Celtics are also on night two of a back-to-back. Jayson Tatum, their MVP calibre player, is a Game Time Decision and possibly resting tonight. While they lost last night in Philadelphia, missing Tatum and being on the second night in a row may allow the Raptors to sneak in for a win. This game still means a lot to the second place Celtics, as they try to catch up to Milwaukee in the standings and fight against the 76ers who are right on their tails for the second seed in the East.
The Celtics will be gunning for ideal playoff position as they try to get to the NBA finals for the second year in a row. Obviously locking in at the end of the weekend in a higher seeded position will help them. If they end up in the one or two seed, the Boston Celtics will play one of the teams that comes out if the Play-In tournament.
This begs the question... is this a preview of a possible first round playoff match up for the Raptors?
Match up: Toronto Raptors (40-39) vs Boston Celtics (54-25)
Where to watch: TSN
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
Toronto: Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, O.G. Anunoby, Jakob Poeltl
Boston: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Grant Williams, Derrick White
Toronto: Gary Trent Jr. (elbow/back - OUT)
Boston: Jayson Tatum (Questionable), Marcus Smart (Questionable), Al Horford (OUT), Payton Pritchard (Questionable)