Clawing their way back: Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics preview

The current Toronto Raptors Logo (2008–present)
The current Toronto Raptors Logo (2008–present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Woooow. That was a ________ loss. I can’t find the right word to describe how bad that game was. Let’s move on.

Stat check: Raptors have lost 7 of their last 10 games. However, they are currently on a 1 game win streak and have not played since March 10th.

Game time: 14 March 2013, 1130hrs AEDT

Watch it on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

  1. Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back) are out for the season.
  2. Andrea Bargnani did not travel with the team (right elbow strain)
  3. Rudy Gay (back) remains a game-time decision

Top enemy performers:

  1. Scoring: Rudy Gay (19.6)
  2. Rebounds: Ed Davis (6.7)
  3. Assists: Kyle Lowry (6.1)

Keys to the game:

  1. Not shooting themselves in the foot: When the Celtics bring out the big guns, no one can stop them (See: Miami Heat, Jan 28th 2013). When they run out of juice/get confused/stop playing basketball, no one can stop them too (See: Charlotte Bobcats, Mar 13th 2013). Now it’s terribly easy to just point to the absence of a player and say, “that’s the reason why we lost!”. Fair enough. But basketball is a team sport — everyone has to be on the same page. We can speculate and guess all we want about why yesterday’s meltdown was even possible, but the truth is that we’re going to have to live with these games every once in a while because inconsistency is part of our game. /rant
  2. Rebounding and less turnovers: Kyle Lowry had the time of his life during the last meeting (17 points, 7 rebounds8 assists, and 4 steals). Good thing we ruined the party and clinched a win. Take care of the ball, and our defense will take care of the rest. Turnovers are a horrible thing when you have guys like Gay and Derozan on the team. Let’s not forget about Terrence Ross too! Side note: Bass has been quietly performing for the past 2 games, especially in terms of rebounding. Let’s hope it’s Bass morphing back into Playoffs Bass mode, because we really need consistency now.
  3. Capitalising on the situation: Winning the Raptors at home since Jan 23rd 2008? Check. 9-game winning home streak? Check. Paul Pierce well rested? Check. Bargnani is out, Gay is a game-time decision, and Celtics are at home with a bitter taste in the mouth following last night’s loss. Frustrations are at an all time high and the boys are definitely looking for a bar fight. It’s not going to be an easy one, as the Celtics are on a back-to-back while the Raptors are all rested and ready. However, that’s the way we roll!

Judging from Doc’s comments from yesterday’s game, tomorrow could go either way. If he decides to pull the chair on KG and rest both veterans, we could be in for a bumpy ride. Let’s hope Lucky will give us a hand in the good old grit-n-grind mill!

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