Toronto at Boston
7:30 P.M. ET
Boston: 100.0 points/100 possessions (23rd)
Toronto: 103.3 points/100 possessions (12th)
Boston: 99.5 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
Toronto: 104.4 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)
Probable Raptors Starters:
Kyle Lowry (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), and Jonas Valanciunas (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Raptors Republic
Thumbnail: After suffering arguably their worst loss of 2012-13, the Celtics will have to quickly pick up the pieces. In this situation, it could be fortunate that Boston is flying home to complete a back-to-back. The Celtics are 8-8 this season on no rest, a respectable record for a team that is led by aged veterans. However, the more important record is 16-0. According to Celtics play-by-play radio broadcaster Sean Grande, the men in green have won 16 straight games at home on the second day of a back-to-back.
As evidenced by the Celtics’ loss to the Bobcats on Tuesday, Paul Pierce is the team’s most important player, especially since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season. The Truth has been forced to take on the role of rebounder and facilitator as well as scorer. Coming into Wednesday, Pierce has spent more than twice as much time on the floor as he has on the bench this season. In those 2,109 minutes played by the captain this season, the Celtics are six points better per 100 possessions than they are with him off the court.
Pierce’s one-game absence seemed to specifically hurt Kevin Garnett’s offense. Garnett had a season-low five points on Tuesday, which marked just the second time in Garnett’s career that he scored five or fewer points on at least 10 field goal attempts. With Pierce’s returns to the lineup, Garnett and the Celtics will most likely play much better than they did in Charlotte. There are also some milestones in reach for Pierce and Garnett. Pierce is seven free throws made away from tying Allen Iverson for the 10th-most free throws made in NBA history. In addition, Garnett is four points away from passing Jerry West for the 15th-most points scored, and Pierce is 10 points away from moving into sole possession of 20th on that same list.
Prediction: Pierce and Garnett move up the leaderboards as the Truth’s return ignites the Celtics’ 17th consecutive home victory on the second day of a back-to-back.
Celtics 100, Raptors 92
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