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Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« on: February 05, 2018, 10:24:07 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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Boston Celtics (39-15) at Toronto Raptors (36-16)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Regular Season Game #55, Road Game #26
TV: NBCSB, TSN1/4, NBA-LP 758(DTV)/759 (Xfinity)
Radio: 100.7 WZLX, Sportsnet 590 The Fan
Air Canada Centre




Probable Starters
PG SG SF PF C
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF:  Jayson Tatum   
PF:  Al Horford
C:   Aron Baynes

Celtics Reserves
Abdel Nader
Semi Ojeleye
Daniel Theis
Guerschon Yabusele
Terry Rozier

Injuries
Gordon Hayward (ankle)  out
Shane Larkin  (knee)  out
Marcus Smart (hand) out
Kyrie Irving (quad) questionable
Marcus Morris  (hip)  questionable
Greg Monroe (unsigned)  questionable

Two Way Players
Kadeem Allen
Jabari Bird

Coach
Brad Stevens




Probable Starters 
PG SG SF PF C
PG:  Kyle Lowry
SG:  DeMar Derozan
SF:   OG Anunoby
PF:  Serge Ibaka
C:   Jonas Valanciunas 

Raptors Reserves
Norman Powell
Bruno Caboclo
Alfonzo McKinnie
CJ Miles
Lucas Nogueira
Jacob Poeltl
Pascal Siakam
Fred VanVleet
Delon Wright

Injuries
None

Two Way Players
Lorenzo Brown
Malcolm Miller

Head Coach
Dwane Casey

Game Notes
After a 3-0 home stand, the Celtics travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors who are 2-0 on their own current home stand.  This is the 2nd of 4 games between these two teams this season.  They will meet again in Toronto on April 4 and in Boston on March 31.

The Celtics have won 4 straight and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.  They are 18-7 on the road.  The Raptors have won 2 straight and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.  The Raptors are a league best 21-4 at home.  It's a tough task to go into the Air Canada Centre and get a win.  The 4 teams who have won in Toronto are Washington, Miami, Golden State, and Utah.

The Celtics still lead the Eastern Conference but the Toronto Raptors are right there with them, just 2 games back of the Celtics.  That makes this game very important for the standings.  A Celtics win would put them up 3 games on the Raptors, but a loss would give them a very precarious 1 game lead. 

Kyrie Irving missed the past 2 games with a quad bruise.  According to Brad Stevens, Kyrie had a good practice and traveled with the team to Toronto and although his is listed as questionable, there is a good chance he may play.   Marcus Morris missed the last  game with a hip injury but also traveled with the team and is also listed as questionable. 

Marcus Smart (hand), Shane Larkin (knee) and Gordon Hayward (ankle) are all out.  The Celtics have agreed to a deal with Greg Monroe and he has arrived in Boston for his physical, however he has not yet been signed.  Danny is delaying the signing to give the team flexibility leading up to Thursday's trade deadline.   The Raptors have no injuries reported. 

Key Matchups
vs
Jaylen Brown vs DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan is the Raptors best player and he is averaging 24.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.  He is also shooting 47.1% from beyond the arc.   Jaylen will need to play lock down defense to keep DeMar from having a big game. 

vs
Kyrie Irving vs Kyle Lowry
Lowry has given the Celtics problems in the past and so they need to pay particular attention to slowing him down.  He is averaging 16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.2 steals.  I'm going to use some wishful thinking and hope that Kyrie is back for this one as they will need his offense and to be as close to full strength as they possibly can be.

Honorable Mention
Celtics Bench vs Raptors Bench
The Raptors' bench has the 3rd best net rating behind only Golden State and Houston.  They outscore their opponents by an average of 6.3 points per 100 possessions.  When Siakam and Poeltl are together in the 4th quarter the Raptors have a +13.9 net rating and allow just 90.1 points per 100 possessions.  The Raptors' reserves average 50.1 points per game.  The Celtics reserves must play tough defense along with contributing to the offense if the Celtics want to get a win. 

Keys to the Game
Defense

Defense has always been and always will be the key to winning.   The Celtics have the best defensive rating in the league at 99.9.  The Raptors are 3rd with a defensive rating of 103.1.  They need to play particularly tough defense against the Raptors since they are averaging 112.7 points per game at home and are capable of putting up a lot of points in a hurry.   The Celtics will miss Marcus Smart's defense but the rest of the team must step up and play tough team defense.   

Be Aggressive
The Celtics must be the more aggressive team.  They have to be aggressive on defense, in going after loose balls, in crashing the boards,  and just all around going all out. They have to aggressively attack the basket. They need to start the game with that aggressive attitude and be aggressive through the whole game with no let up.   Dwayne Casey has said that the Raptors want to step up and match or surpass the Celtics' aggressiveness and physicality and if so,  the Celtics have to work harder to be the more aggressive team. 

Rebound

The Celtics must crash the boards. They can't score if they don't have the ball. Much of rebounding is effort and desire. The Celtics have to be the team that puts out more effort from every player to go after rebounds.   The Celtics are 9th in rebounds at 44.5 per game.  The Raptors are 15th with 43.5 per game.  The Celtics have to crash the boards and beat the Raptors to the rebounds if they want to get a win. 

Play 48 Minutes - The Celtics have been coming out of the gates slowly and letting teams get a lead.  They have been able to come back and get a win against a lot of teams,  but if they give the Raptors a big lead, they will have a tougher time coming back.  They need to start strong and play hard right up until the final buzzer. 

X-Factors
On the Road - The Celtics are on the road once again and playing in an arena where it is very difficult to get a win.  With the Raptors having the NBA's best home record, the Celtics have to come in focused and play their best in order to get a win.  The young players especially have to stay focused and ignore all of the distractions that come with playing on the road. 

Next Man Up - The Celtics have been finding ways to win even without key players.  They may or may not get Marcus Morris and Kyrie Irving back but whether they do or not, they will still be missing some key players and so the players who are available must step up and fill in for the players who are out. 

Motivation - There is a lot of motivation for both teams. First and foremost, the Celtics are just 2 games up on the Raptors and a win would cut that to 1 game.  With the Raptors playing well recently, they would be very close taking over first place from the Celtics.  The Raptors also have the added motivation of wanting to avenge the 1 point loss in the first game between these two teams.  The Celtics need to be motivated to keep them from getting that revenge. 

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 10:26:24 PM »

Offline csfansince60s

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TP FlCelts!

Beat those Raps!

Go Cs!!!

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 10:26:44 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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TP to  csfansince60s  for being the first to post in the game thread.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Celtics!!!

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 10:32:02 PM »

Offline Hank Finkel

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Go Celtics

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 10:42:17 PM »

Offline Monkhouse

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Let's go Celtics!
"I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies and hypotheses
Can't define how I be dropping these mockeries."

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
It's based on your perspective, quite simply
We're the same and we're not; know what I'm saying? Listen
Son, I ain't better than you, I just think different

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 11:00:24 PM »

Offline liam

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This is the biggest game of the year so far. I hope Kyrie can play!

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 11:01:31 PM »

Offline hodgy03038

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Go Celts. Hope Kyrie and Morris play.


Hey Jaylen. I lost 519 Tommy Points betting on you guys and lost

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 12:14:38 AM »

Offline celticinorlando

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Gotta keep Dorozan in check
“The rim is looking bigger and bigger every game.”

 Paul Pierce

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 12:31:41 AM »

Offline trickybilly

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Loving the asymmetry of the photos of the bar glasses, however, not loving the asymmetry of the Kyle Lowry. TP gained, and immediately lost.

"Gimme the ball, gimme the ball". Freddy Quimby, 1994.

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 01:06:01 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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lets go Celtics....TP fLcF!!!

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 01:37:31 AM »

Offline Snakehead

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Eager to see more games against the Raptors to test this team.  Excited for this one.
"I really don't want people to understand me." - Jordan Crawford

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 05:15:08 AM »

Offline azzenfrost

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This should be fun.
I moved the cheese.

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 05:26:09 AM »

Offline LilRip

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I really want this win. I hope Jaylen is ready to bring the deeeeefense!!!!
- LilRip

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2018, 07:00:50 AM »

Offline Surferdad

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12th man, two-way player.

Battle for the top seed in the East and the leading candidates to represent the East in the Finals.  No other teams in the East have a shot.  None.  I just had to say that, it's been a long time.

Re: Celtics (39-15) at Raptors (36-16) Game #55 2/6/18
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2018, 07:23:15 AM »

Offline SHAQATTACK

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Wish we had Monroe and Smart  in to this battle .

Bar fight