Quick Reaction: Celtics 92, Raptors 87 (Raptors Exit Bubble)

Stars with a stinker. Raptors out.

10 mins read
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors and Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics scramble for a loose ball during the third quarter in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 11, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
BOS Celtics 92 Final
Box Score
87 TOR Raptors

P. Siakam41 MIN, 13 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 5-12 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 5 TO, -3 +/-

Another pure trash game. I can’t say a single good thing this guy did here tonight. He looked small on the biggest occasion. Even Chris Bosh at his worst didn’t look as bad as he did. It’s a team game but if we had gotten even 30% of what we expected of him we’d have won this series. Forget the non-existent offense, he even killed any momentum we had by fouling people for no reason. Just a bad, bad series. It’s going to be a long “summer” as he looked like he has a ways to go before coming close to being classified as a true star.



O. Anunoby35 MIN, 4 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-

He has the calmness and the composure of a surgeon. He will do anything that’s asked of him and will do it at an above-average and often supreme level. In hindsight, just giving him the ball in post positions instead of Fred and Siakam jacking up shots might’ve been a better option. Whenever he was on Tatum he made him do something which wasn’t his first or second option, and that’s all you can do against a great offensive player.

M. Gasol19 MIN, 6 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 2-7 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -19 +/-

That third quarter in Game 6 should’ve been it. Instead we had to see him lumber around this game as the Celtics ran circles around him and he continued to be absolutely useless offensively. The Celtics were on the powerplay every time he was on the floor this series, so it’s a small miracle that the Raptors extended this series to seven games.

K. Lowry41 MIN, 16 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 5-15 FG, 1-6 3FG, 5-6 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -10 +/-

Not a great offensive game and it feels like he didn’t even try to get himself going and deferred too much. He’s the only guy perimeter player who can legitimately put pressure on the defense (i.e., can consistently draw fouls) and we didn’t see much of that. Maybe he’s just exhausted, maybe. He gave us his all.

F. VanVleet44 MIN, 20 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 8-20 FG, 4-9 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, -8 +/-

Is your idea of the Raptors offense Fred VanVleet doing a LeBron James impersonation? Well, good news for you because he apparently has carte blanche to do whatever he wants on the floor and that includes jacking up contested shots with 18 on the clock. A make seems to get him a coupon to take another three. I can’t count how many times he got stuffed at the rim which I would hope would maybe persuade him to not to do the exact thing the Celtics want him to do again but no dice.

Then again, someone has to make up for the void that was left by Siakam’s missing offense so I give him credit for actually taking it on. It’s easy to be harsh on him but I don’t think he had much choice here.

N. Powell32 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 4 +/-

He’s a role player who we’re looking to produce heroics. When he doesn’t deliver we shouldn’t be mad at him, and instead redirect our attention to the people who are supposed to be producing big time for us. He blew the fast-break attempt which would’ve tried the game but what would you rather have him do? Pull back and run a play against a set Celtics D? He just needed to go stronger. Other than a couple really silly charges he had a Normish game. Again, my expectations of him have never been as high as what’s been projected for “Playoff Powell”. He’s fine.

S. Ibaka20 MIN, 14 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 5-9 FG, 1-4 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 6 +/-

If there is one thing the Celtics defense was not able to stop in the least the entire series it was Ibaka in the post. What was our least used realistic offensive option? Ibaka in the post. We simply did not play good offensive basketball which maximized the return on our possessions and we let the Celtics off the hook. This guy was immense whenever he stepped up and perhaps the difference in a series was just playing more of the C split.



M. Thomas4 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 6 +/-

After a great first quarter stint we didn’t see him again. When he’s in the game the Celtics have to dedicate a defender full-time to him which means that defender isn’t there to cheat and strip balls from everyone else (i.e., the ball-handler) and it’s one less defender to play the passing lanes. It is mind-boggling how he didn’t get minutes after. Madness.

Nick Nurse

OK buddy, the Celtics have figured out the box-and-one. They drive against it and we collapse and they bomb out from three. You got anything else other than a variation of the same damn thing which the Celtics already know how to exploit? I’m not mad that you don’t because in a seven games series everyone knows everything so let’s focus on what you do have control over. Subs. Playing Gasol in the third, not playing Thomas, giving Fred the green light to take bad shots. All this shit added up and cost us the series.

Things We Saw

  1. The stretch of six turnovers in eight possessions in the second quarter is where we went from thinking we could extend our seven point lead to double digits to handing the Celtics all the momentum. The rest of the game for me was just recovering from that stretch which we never did. Came close once and almost tied it but we never recovered. Celtics had 31 points off turnovers compared to the Raptors 18. That as it.
  2. The Celtics read our passing lanes so well that you would’ve thought they knew the play we were running. That’s a function of having seen each other a lot and also the Raptors not adapting and anticipating, and that was surprising given how well-coached the Raptors have been all year. That generated fast break points where they hammered us 23-10 (this was supposed to be our advantage btw).
  3. Offensive rebounding killed us. When you play zone you risk being out of position on the glass but what exacerbated things was the Celtics crashed them successfully. They were fine giving up the occasional fast break, but more or less, they dominated here.
  4. https://twitter.com/raptorsrepublic/status/1304627789115600898

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