Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors Game 3 Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Boston Celtics are up 2-0 on the Toronto Raptors going into Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semi-Final series.
- The Toronto Raptors have been down 0-2 eight times in their franchise history, recovering to win the series only once.
- Jayson Tatum leads all scorers in the series with 27.2 points per game.
Celtics vs Raptors Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Boston Celtics||+0.5 -109||O 215 -112||-108|
|Toronto Raptors||-0.5 -112||U 215 -109||-110|
Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
Celtics vs Raptors Predictions and Picks
Despite a gargantuan fourth-quarter effort, and an unlikely hero in Marcus Smart, the Toronto Raptors were dealing with the Boston Celtics well in Game 2. While the odds flip in favour of the Celtics, the Toronto Raptors have plenty to build on.
How to Watch Celtics vs Raptors
|Celtics vs Raptors Information|
|What||Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Thursday, September 3rd, 2020; 6:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||TNT|
Head-to-Head: Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
|Boston Celtics||Head-to-Head||Toronto Raptors|
|Brad Stevens||Head Coach||Nick Nurse|
|48-24 (3rd in East, 5th Overall)||Standing||53-19 (2nd in East, 2nd Overall)|
|113.3 (4th of 30)||Off Rtg||111.1 (14th of 30)|
|107.0 (4th of 30)||Def Rtg||105.0 (2nd of 30)|
|99.5 (17th of 30)||Pace||100.9 (12th of 30)|
Playoff Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Tatum (27.2)||PPG||F. Vanvleet (19.2)|
|J. Tatum (9.3)||RPG||S. Ibaka (9.8)|
|K. Walker (4.8)||APG||F. Vanvleet (7.7)|
|G. Hayward (4.0)||SPG||F. Vanvleet (2.0)|
|D. Theis (1.5)||BPG||O. Anunoby (1.3)|
|G. Williams (.750)/J. Tatum (9.2)||FG%/FGM||M. Thomas (.700)/S. Ibaka (7.0)|
|B. Wanamaker (.571)/J. Tatum (3.3)||3P%/3PM||S. Ibaka (.538)/F. Vanvleet (4.0)|
Can Boston Continue to Shut Down the Raptors?
The Boston Celtics are a talented defensive team, no doubt. However, the scoring rate they’ve been able to hold the Raptors to has been impressive even by their own lofty standards.
A large reason why the Celtics’ defence has been so successful is their size advantage. Everywhere other than at the centre position, the Celtics have a significant size advantage over the Raptors’ diminutive backcourt. The likes of Lowry and Vanvleet are tough to handle, but the length of Smart, Tatum, and Brown has been giving them fits.
In their first two games against the Raptors, the Celtics have held the reigning champions to under 28% shooting from three. Usually one of the leagues best shooters from three, the Raptors have crumbled under the Celtics’ ability to rush the three-point line. If they can maintain their defensive effort, the Celtics may be able to book their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals early.
Toronto Must Manufacture Better Shots
The Toronto Raptors are a team that thrives in the transition game. With speedy and athletic players like Lowry, Vanvleet, Siakam, and Anunoby, there is no reason for them to not convert well on the fast-break. Unfortunately, the Celtics have slowed their pace and Toronto’s half-court execution doesn’t look nearly as good.
The Raptors’ big three of Siakam, Lowry, and Vanvleet put up numbers, but on poor efficiency in Game 2. The three combined for 19 of 54 shooting on the evening, contributing 54 points to match their number of attempts.
It is telling that the most successful Raptors of the evening were Ibaka and Anunoby. Two players that thrive off of hard runs, fades out for threes in transition, and sneaky cuts off the sleeping defence. Toronto looked solid for most of the game until giving up a late double-digit lead. If they can be more pragmatic with their shot selection, there’s no reason they can’t begin to bring this series level.
Celtics Key Player: (G) Marcus Smart
Absolute King pic.twitter.com/qM9wWYaR4x
— Čöłęÿ Mīçk (@ColeyMick) September 1, 2020
Usually the Celtics’ chief defensive stopper on the perimeter, Smart chose to assume dual roles in Boston’s most recent win over the Toronto Raptors. While the Massachusetts team is missing a key shooter in Gordon Hayward, Smart more than made up for his absence in Game 2.
Smart put up 19 points in Game 2 against Toronto and single-handedly erased the double-digit deficit between them with five-straight three-point shots! Channelling his inner Stephen Curry, Smart was the only reason why Boston found their way back into the game.
One can’t expect the same type of shooting performance from Smart again in Game 3, but it is his defence that has been brilliant so far. He held the Toronto starting backcourt to 13-38 shooting in Game 2. Any offence on top of that is just a bonus.
Raptors Key Player: (C) Serge Ibaka
Not in Serge Ibaka’s house! 🚫
— NBA (@NBA) February 22, 2020
Veteran centre Serge Ibaka has been one of the Raptors’ only reliable players in their first two games against the Boston Celtics. Never shy to shoot the ball, when in a good position Ibaka has been able to convert efficiently.
In two games Ibaka has shot 11-22 from the field and 6-12 from three-point range. With Boston’s tendency to pack the paint, Ibaka has been one of the few players to take advantage of any position.
With the struggles of countryman Marc Gasol, Ibaka may see even more than his usual 26-27 minutes per game. Strong on the boards and when protecting the rim, the Raptors are never lacking in the paint with Ibaka on the court.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.