Two Eastern Conference powerhouses are set to square off today as the Celtics meet the Raptors in Orlando tonight.
The Celtics are fighting to hold off the Heat for the #3 seed in the East. They have had a very limited Kemba Walker so far, who they hope to have at full strength for the start of the playoffs. On the bright side, Romeo Langford thrived in his absence against Brooklyn.
They also got great minutes from Rob Williams, who could be a fixture in their second unit moving ahead. Don’t forget about Jaylen Brown, who has proven that he might be the team’s star alongside Jayson Tatum. Sometimes the #1 option.
Toronto, on the other hand, has been great in the bubble going 3-0 so far. They are playing their nine-man rotation with four starters taking all the minutes they can handle. Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol split the minutes at the center position pretty evenly.
Kawhi or not, this is an elite team that will play as hard as any in the NBA. They cannot be slept on as a title contender.
The Raptors are three-point favorites tonight. The over/under is set at 218.5.
Celtics Looking to Stay Hot
They put their feet all over the throats of the Brooklyn Nets in their last game, scoring at will on ESPN. And it came as no surprise to see them playing like that. They are capable of it on any night, and playing a short-handed team definitely played a role in that as well.
Brad Wanamaker has continued to give the team good minutes and do whatever is needed of him. The bench has been their issue all season, but perhaps they’ve seen what they want to do moving forward with how well the backups played against the Nets. They have a lot of young talent sitting on that bench.
This is a critical game for the Celtics, as the Heat are not far behind them. They need to try and hold on to the #3 spot so they can avoid a potential second-round matchup with the Bucks. We all remember how poorly that went for them last year.
Raptors Looking at 4-0?
A win tonight for Toronto would keep them as one of two undefeated bubble teams, and tie with the Phoenix Suns for the best record since the restart at 4-0. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet have been at the forefront of their dominance and resurgence.
They’ve had a very tough schedule thus far, but it hasn’t been able to slow them down. Every player on this team knows their role and comes in bristling with energy from the first second they touch the floor. They have two guards, both under 6’2 that are elite defenders.
And of course, there is a superstar in the making with Pascal Siakam. His numbers have soared again this year, and he is going to be here for the long-term.
Raptors Win a Close One
Another one bites the dust. 4-0. Don’t forget about the Raptors. They are a fantastic ball club.
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