Raptors @ Celtics Stuff

Quick preview.

Rondo is questionable, likely out. Don’t matter though, last time we played them in Boston without Rondo we ended up losing 100-64. Expect Barbosa to get the time instead of Rondo and that guy’s played with the Raptors just long enough to figure out how things click with Jose Calderon et al. Lowry, Fields and Anderson remain out. Of note, Pierce is a little ticked after coming up short against the Nets:

“I take a lot of blame for down the stretch,” Pierce said. “I’m the guy they call upon to make the plays and I didn’t make the plays tonight. It’s a long season, but that’s not the main reason we lost. You can point to a number of little things we talk about all season long.”

McGuire will likely have the assignment. Time for a Raptors quote, and it’s Lowry who says blah blah:

“It’s feeling a lot better. (So), to be honest, ya, very surprised and very shocked (that he needs more time), but you know it’s day-by-day, we’ve got a great training staff, we’ve got guys, they want to protect me and make sure I get back to 100%, that’s the reasoning for that,” Lowry said on Friday.

(Does he need protecting from himself?) Ya, ya, definitely, I definitely can say that,” he said.

Nice little snippet of info regarding the Raptors in transition and in isolation situations here:

The Raptors are middle of the pack offensively (15th, 0.892 points per play), according to Synergy Sports data. The Raptors are not a particularly effective team in transition (ranking 28th), but are top third of the league in both spot-up shooting and isolation plays. More than a third of the team’s total offense has gone through DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani. Defensively, the Raptors rank 26th at 0.935 points per play and — beyond defending pick-and-roll ball-handlers pretty well, rank in the bottom third of the league in key play types like spot-up (28th), post-up (20th), and transition (27th).

The transition are evident just by watching the game and without the need for stats, what is surprising is the offense/defense shift from last year. Last year we had a low ranked offense and an improved defense, and this year we’ve reverted to having a rather porous defense while seeing a rise in offense. I’ll account this to simply more focus on offense with Lowry and DeRozan emerging, and the team not relying solely on defense to win them games. I don’t think the Raptors defense will remain as poor as it has been and that Casey will eventually find the defensive rhythm that this team needs to be competitive.

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