Quick Reaction: Celtics 78, Raptors 96

7 mins read
Boston 78 Final
Box Score
96 Toronto

S. Ibaka29 MIN, 15 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-13 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Good Serge, on the second night of a back to back? There were some signs of rust early at the offensive end, but he was needed tonight and was very good. Was a tough defensive presence and had a great stretch against Greg Monroe, and with him hitting his shots the Boston zone wasn’t effective.

O. Anunoby11 MIN, 4 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Felt like OG was good tonight, worked hard on defense, but got into trouble when the Celtics got the switch to get a Horford post-up on him on consecutive possessions and he took two fouls. His buckets were both big dunks.

J. Valanciunas13 MIN, 4 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-8 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

Jonas struggled with his shot early and missed a couple looks he normally hits. Didn’t really get enough chances later in the game to work his way back into it, but that was mostly because other lineups were working.

K. Lowry32 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 5-11 FG, 2-7 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 20 +/-

For everything he didn’t have against Cleveland, he brought it tonight. The line might not look impressive, but he did all the little things. Took two charges, and was the heart of the Raptors in a game they needed to win.

D. DeRozan27 MIN, 16 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 6-17 FG, 3-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

DeMar had a couple rough stretches offensively, forced his game against a team with a lot of long, physical defenders to throw his way. However, he was engaged defensively from the beginning of the night, and hit some big threes that the team needed.

D. Wright26 MIN, 8 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 4-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 19 +/-

What a fantastic Delon game. He was everywhere and made life miserable for the Celtics, creating for teammates, playing the passing lanes. Just a fantastic all around game from him.

F. VanVleet24 MIN, 15 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 3-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 10 +/-

Fred and Delon are going to be really important in the playoffs for the Raptors, and both guys showed why tonight. Delon was a presence on the boards and distributing the ball, while Fred scored at will against a tough defense.

J. Poeltl17 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-

Mixed bag for Jak. He physically can’t deal with Greg Monroe, and gave up some rebounds and buckets simply because of the size matchup. On the other hand, he worked hard defensively and showed off his hands at the other end, and was generally a positive in his second half stint.

L. Nogueira17 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 3-4 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 19 +/-

Casey’s solution to what Boston’s defense showed on Saturday was lineups with shooters around Bebe, and it worked tonight. Was part of two of the biggest Raptors runs of the night, and despite a couple moments where he struggled defensively, just a solid game for a guy who’s been buried on the depth chart much of the year.

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

Pascal thrives in chaos, and it’s hard to create that against a disciplined Celtics team. Wasn’t terribly effective, and maybe this just isn’t the matchup for him.

C. Miles15 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-7 FG, 1-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 8 +/-

CJ’s presence as a shooting threat is necessary against good defensive teams, and the threat of CJ was important at points tonight. Unfortunately, tonight, the reality of CJ wasn’t as good, as he continued his recent slump from three.

N. Powell11 MIN, 0 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 1 +/-

The full Norm experience was on display. Played some good defense, grabbed some rebounds, made some extremely questionable decisions with the ball, and his shot wasn’t there(and Boston was perfectly happy letting him shoot).

Dwane Casey

It’s been a rough two weeks for Casey. There’s been a lot to reasonably question with his rotations. Tonight, he was great. Had a plan to attack Boston’s defensive looks, executed, and used his full 12-man roster well. Also had the players ready for a tough, physical game.

Things We Saw

  1. First seed is almost certainly locked up with this one. A single Raptors win or Boston loss sews it up, and that matters with the Raptors record at home this year. They’re now 6-0 against the teams in 2nd-5th in the East at home this season, with only one game with Indiana visiting to go.
  2. So good to see the return of the Raptors defense tonight. They worked hard and generally made life miserable for Boston, and that’s something that they did regularly in January and February, and hasn’t been there for most of March.
  3. The playoffs are a lot about adjustments, taking what a team shows you and finding a way to solve it. Over the last two games against Boston, Casey has shown a great ability to do just that, and that’s going to be important next week as the playoffs begin.

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