Quick Reaction: Raptors 99, Celtics 110

Raptors unable to find their way in the fourth quarter, lose a hard-fought contest in Boston.

Box Score

S. Ibaka32 MIN, 15 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 5-7 FG, 3-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -2 +/-

Capitalized on his first two long distance attempts, and looked spry following the days off. Got rightfully called for two charges against Baynes on drives though. Added a block and another three in the third quarter. This is the guy we need in the playoffs.

O. Anunoby19 MIN, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Made dunk and a corner three while keeping Tatum quiet in his first quarter minutes. Nearly had a poster against Baynes, as he teased a few times throughout the year. Hoping to see him finish those next season. Tatum kept the Celtics afloat in the third, but OG did not make it easy on him, getting in his face both on and off the ball.

J. Valanciunas25 MIN, 13 PTS, 11 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-12 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Looked helpless defensively as Baynes hit three straight mid-range shots and two triples in the first. Nonetheless, he dominated the paint offensively the entire night, picking up offensive rebounds and feasting on juicy dishes from his teammates.

K. Lowry34 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 9 AST, 0 STL, 4-13 FG, 2-10 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -10 +/-

Extremely locked in on both ends from the tip, as he often seems to be in ‘big’ games this season. Hit a DEEP three early, took a charge and led the team in true KLOE fashion. Took it upon himself to keep Valanciunas involved past the opening frame. Unfortunately, the threes stopped falling after the early one (except for one in the final few minutes), otherwise the game may have ended differently.

D. DeRozan36 MIN, 32 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 12-19 FG, 0-5 3FG, 8-10 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -8 +/-

Sandwiched three made field goals between a host of assists in the opening frame. Picked up the scoring load as the game went on, doing it smoothly and efficiently. Great to see DeMar back to his unstoppable self.

C. Miles20 MIN, 3 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-6 FG, 0-5 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, -9 +/-

Rough outing for the sharpshooter, as he missed all of his field goals, turned the ball over, and couldn’t defend without fouling. Morris had a field day against him.

J. Poeltl20 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Passed out of the paint when he was wide open in the second quarter. Appeared a little hesitant in the game, not much else to write home about.

F. VanVleet18 MIN, 11 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 2-5 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Impactful as usual, stepping into a calm buzzer-beating triple to end the first quarter. Followed it up with another three early in the second, bailing the team out of a shot clock violation. Also had an incredible one touch full court pass to Wright in transition that would have been highlight material had Delon finished it. Cooled off a bit in the second half.

P. Siakam16 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -11 +/-

Didn’t seem his usual energetic self, failing to speed by and through the Celtics defense. Did have a nice alley-oop dunk from a FVV pass early in the fourth.

D. Wright12 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -3 +/-

Seemed a little shaky in his first stint, mixing in a bad play for every good one, including a missed reverse layup in transition. Did little to change that impression in the second half.

N. Powell8 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Got a look to close the second, and did well defensively, fighting through screens and refusing to switch off Rozier. Came back into the game in the fourth, but didn’t impress enough to close out the game.

Dwane Casey

Had his team ready to go early, requiring an incredible shooting performance from Baynes to keep the Celtics close in the first. Took Horford’s playmaking and Tatum’s scoring out of the game early, though Stevens adjusted in the second quarter. The starters outplayed the bench on the day, and so keeping most of them glued to the pine while well rested halfway into the fourth seemed questionable. Mixed and matched to end the game, putting in Powell over FVV, Siakam over Valanciunas (who the Celtics had no answer for), and giving Anunoby and Miles a run too. Pre-playoff experimentation?

Things We Saw

  1. Aaron Baynes had an incredible first quarter, playing all but the last 25 seconds of it, dropping 12 points including 2 triples. Context: He averages 5.7 points per game this season, and made exactly 0 threes out of 12 attempts all year prior to this contest.
  2. Raps involved everyone early, making Stevens call the first timeout at 16-13 (at which point all of Toronto’s starters had scored). The game seesawed back and forth until midway in the fourth. At half: 10 assists evenly distributed between Lowry and DeRozan, and 20 points evenly distributed between Ibaka and Valanciunas. The 2018 Raptors epitomized.
  3. Not a single Raptor had a positive plus minus (VanVleet ranked highest with 0), while the Celtics had only one in the negatives (Aron Baynes with -2). Still, the game was there for the taking for most of the night, and a lot of ‘unusual’ occurrences tilted it the home team’s way: Baynes’ incredible first quarter, the Raptors’ bench ineffectiveness, Miles and Lowry’s poor shooting night. Let’s get ’em next week.
  4. What’s Morris’ problem?