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Boston Celtics to Win (+120)
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|Celtics vs Raptors Information|
|What||Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors|
|Where||Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay, FL|
7:30 PM ET January 4, 2021
|How to Watch/Listen||NBC Sports Boston, Sportsnet; 98.5 The Sports Hub, CJCL|
|Boston Celtics||Head-to-Head||Toronto Raptors|
|Brad Stevens||Head Coach||Nick Nurse|
|4-3 (6th in East)||Standing||1-4 (14th in East)|
|109.6 (17th of 30)||Off Rtg||101.5 (29th of 30)|
|110.7 (21st of 30)||Def Rtg||104.0 (5th of 30)|
|100.2 (21st of 30)||Pace||102.9 (8th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Brown (27.5)||PPG||F. Vanvleet (19.2)|
|T. Thompson (8.6)||RPG||P. Siakam (7.8)|
|M. Smart (6.2)||APG||K. Lowry (8.2)|
|Brown, Teague (2.0)||SPG||O. Anunoby (2.2)|
|T. Fall (2.0)||BPG||C. Boucher (2.2)|
|R. Williams (.789)/J. Brown (11.0)||FG%/FGM||A. Len (.714)/F. Vanvleet (6.8)|
|J. Teague (.636)/J. Tatum (3.0)||3P%/3PM||A. Len (.750)/F. Vanvleet (3.4)|
It should be noted, the Boston Celtics went up against a very game Detroit Pistons side in their last two matches – most recently coming home with a victory. However, their victory was hard-fought and contained issues all over the court.
Glaringly, the Boston Celtics have struggled with ball security. While they’ve been playing without lead point guard Kemba Walker, there is no excuse for a team as talented as Boston to average 15.9 turnovers per game.
Without a true point guard on the court, as Brad Stevens has opted for Marcus Smart to run the offence, the Celtics have settled into less innovative offensive play. It works at times, with offensive options as talented as Brown and Tatum, but as they were with Detroit the Toronto Raptors have all the tools to merely outwork them to a victory.
The Toronto Raptors have gotten off to their worst start since the 2014 season. Their struggles are certainly born from losing two key pieces in Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, but mediocre performances from Pascal Siakam and his supporting cast exacerbate their issues – especially in the second half.
In each of their last five games, the Toronto Raptors have held a lead, by ten points or more in four of those matches. Unfortunately, Toronto’s scoring woes grow exponentially in the second half where they only score 49.8 (25th in the league).
Toronto will have their hands full with the Boston Celtics, and they can’t afford a weak start. If the Raptors can’t keep up in the first half, there is little to suggest that they can salvage the game.
— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2021
The Celtics’ Jaylen Brown has gotten off to a scorching start to open his 2020-2021 NBA campaign. He hasn’t been shy shooting the ball, but at 27.5 points per game on 56.9% from the field you can’t rightly discourage him at this point.
Brown will be tasked with navigating an aggressive Toronto Raptors defence, while also finding the right passes in order to create opportunities for other players.
Just as important as his offensive contributions, Brown will likely be tasked with guarding Pascal Siakam – as he did in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Likely his toughest defensive assignment yet, Brown will need to set the tone on both ends.
— ??? ???????? (@DocNaismith) January 3, 2021
If you saw the form of Pascal Siakam over the last five games, you’d be forgiven for not believing he was a first-time All-Star and All-NBA selection in 2019-2020.
Siakam has played in four, lost four, and been suspended for disciplinary reasons on top of being a -12.3 in those four games. So far he’s been a detriment to the Raptors, not the star they thought they’d have.
It won’t be an easy night for Siakam to find his form. In last year’s Eastern Conference Semi-Final, the Celtics held Siakam to 14.9 points per game on 38% shooting from the field. Siakam is near unguardable when in form, but at the moment he is struggling to make an impact.
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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.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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