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Game 48: Celtics (24-23) @ Raptors (17-31) Open Thread

 

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2013/0205/nba_g_barbosa_gb1_200.jpgBoston at Toronto
7:00 P.M. ET
Air Canada Centre

CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.0 points/100 possessions (21st)
Toronto:
103.7 points/100 possessions (11th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.9 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)
Toronto:
 105.0 points allowed/100 possessions (25th)

Probable Raptors Starters:
Kyle Lowry (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), and Aaron Gray (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Raptors Republic

Thumbnail: How about this recent stretch for the Celtics? A 4-0 homestand without their floor general, Rajon Rondo, is fantastic to see, and statistics say that this is no fluke. Boston has better offensive and defensive efficiencies without him. The Celtics are 3.3 points per 100 offensive possessions better with Rondo off the floor. In addition, they are 1.5 points per 100 defensive possessions better without him. Still, no one can be sure in saying that the Celtics are better without Rondo, but this four-game stretch has proven that Boston is going to be a tough team to bounce out of the 2013 playoffs.

One of the reasons for this winning streak is Leandro Barbosa, who played for the Raptors last season. He averaged more than 20 minutes per game in Toronto in 2011-12. In the last four games, Barbosa has played 23 minutes per game after just 10 minutes per game in his first 33 games this season. On Sunday, he was one of three Celtics reserves to score at least 12 points. Since New Year’s Day, the Celtics have played 17 games and in five of them, three Boston players have each come off the bench to score 12 or more points. According to Elias, that happened only once in the previous four calendar years (2009-12) for the Celtics. Most importantly, three of those five games have come without Rondo.

It is tough to tell how the Raptors will come out tonight against the resurgent Celtics. Both Boston and Toronto have recently had major changes to their roster. The Raptors currently stand 7.5 games behind the Celtics for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. General Manager Bryan Colangelo took a risk by making the trade for Rudy Gay, but bringing a ball-dominating scorer to Canada could put the Raptors in a position to fight for this season’s playoffs as well as allowing them to be a contender for the upcoming years. In just two games in Toronto, Gay already has attempted 39 field goals and scored 49 points, both team-highs. The Celtics guards will also have their hands full with DeMar DeRozan, who has been 15-for-15 from the free throw line since Gay has started playing for the Raptors.

Prediction: The Celtics extend their winning streak to five games, just one away from tying their season-high six-game winning streak that they had about a month ago.

Celtics 97, Raptors 92

For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • Phil725

    Without looking at any number at all, I feel like the Raptors are the team the Cs have owned the most over the KG era (maybe the Knicks?) I end up sleeping through a lot of their games since they play a lot on Saturday morning, but I feel like it's not even competitive most of the time.

    Whether that's true or not, I'm hoping for another well played game by the Cs. I love the style of play I've seen lately, and there's no reason why it shouldn't work against the Raptors.

    Way late edit: Cs have won 19 of the last 23 against the Raps according to the CSN post game show, so I'm counting that as me being right :P

    • Josh_5

      Phil, what could be causing you to sleep in on Saturdays, and miss Celtics games…….

  • Phil725

    This is the slowest I've seen the Cs look on defense in a while. They just look a step late on all of their rotations, and they're leaving guys open and giving up 3pt plays because of it.

    Seems like a situation where the offense and defense are tied together, and getting going on one end will improve the other.

  • Phil725

    Toronto's transition D has been ridiculously good this half. Every time the Cs get an opportunity to run, there's at least three Raptors back. That's largely responsible for the low offensive output so far. Missing the 3 ball (PP just hit the first one,) is the rest of it.

    The D picked back up though.

  • Phil725

    Well that was one of the strangest plays I've seen a while. What the hell is Pierce doing throwing a ball into the middle of the court when the shot clock is about to run out, and why are all three refs sleeping in the middle of a basketball game?

    Even stranger when it was surrounded by Brandon Bass getting 5 points off the dribble!

  • Phil725

    This team can't afford a no-show by the entire bench. Hopefully someone steps up in the fourth.

    Edit: LB!!

  • The Cardinal

    My man is showing (and playing damn good D on his man too)!

  • Phil725

    I really like what I've seen from Amir Johnson tonight. He's a good rebounder, and he's strong inside.

    On a related note; KG is absolutely destroying Amir Johnson and whoever else is around him.

  • mugi

    KG!

  • KillerGymRat

    Feels like a statement game from KG. Reminding Ainge and the rest of the league his demise is greatly overrated, and his value is off the charts.

    #untradable

  • The Cardinal

    What the hell was Pierce doing?

  • KillerGymRat

    In other news…the PP iso…still the lowest percentage offense in our arsenal.

    • The Cardinal

      Doc just can't seem to bring himself to place the ball in LB's or Jet's hands.

  • Phil725

    Another nice win by the Cs. They had some lapses early in the first and third quarters, but enough guys stepped up, and they pulled it out in the end. KG carried them all the way, and Barbosa gave them the late spark they needed. They don't win the game without those two guys.

    5 game winning streak with the Lakers coming in tomorrow.

    Nice score prediction in the article by the way.

  • KillerGymRat

    No doubt there will be lots of chatter this win is further proof that we are better without Rondo…but not from anyone who actually watched the game. You are missed RR!

  • Anthony

    In all honesty, this was a game they shouldn't have won. Barbosa, KG and Rudy Gay bailed them. Rudy took more bad shots than Pierce. Like the energy that JGreen brought. He had a couple of nice defensive plays in towards the end, could've easily finished in double figures, and you never complain when he grabs 6 boards.

    A win is a win and 5 straight and counting. Hopefully they can bring more energy tomorrow against the Gasol-less Lakers.

    Don't want to jinx anything but KG's numbers are eerily picking up just like last year. Is there a prettier turn-around 12 footer? Only one I can think of that comes close is Sheed's bank shot on the low block. Pierce averaging 16-10-6 in the last 5.

    • KillerGymRat

      Have to agree. It seemed like with the exception of Barbosa and KG (who actually made two terrible passes that lead to buckets) the team was determined to lose. But Toronto just was a bit more determined.

      As Heinsohn so appropriately put it "the really bad teams will always find ways to lose".

      • Anthony

        Yea, what's up with all these lazy passes from the top of the key. And the inbound passes also leaves something to be desired. No one back to receive a pass? That's unacceptable! JET also stepped inbound before passing the ball in the last game. What about the bad inbound passes to Pierce leading to turnover against the Knicks and the Bulls that cost them the games. Those things shouldn't happen that often for such a veteran team.

        Well, good thing is at least we know they can still get better.

  • Josh_5

    Mmmmmm you guys smell that?? That's the sweet aroma of my boy going for a season high 27 and just beasting the Raptors!! Don't you DARE call him old!

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