Quick Reaction: Celtics 126, Raptors 114

What's old is new again - Celtics crush Raptors despite missing Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart.

BOS Celtics126Final
Box Score
114TOR Raptors

P. Siakam32 MIN, 22 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 7-15 FG, 2-5 3FG, 6-7 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -13 +/-

Started hot, hit his first two threes, and much like he did in his first game of the season, he let the game come to him. Then the second quarter started. When his team needed him most tonight, mainly during Boston’s mega runs during the second and third quarters, Spicy P was nowhere to be found. He contributed across the box score, but if you watched this one, what you saw from Pascal did not equate to a productive game of basketball.

O. Anunoby29 MIN, 10 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 3-8 FG, 1-4 3FG, 3-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -12 +/-

OG has always had the chops to be the best defender on an NBA basketball court. But in order for him to take the next leap, he needs to start figuring out things on offense. There were too many times tonight when he got the ball in a prime scoring position and appeared to have no idea what to do with it. Finishing in transition, hitting open shots and making consistently good decisions with the basketball are three areas that need a lot of work if OG wants to justify his fat new raise.

K. Lowry32 MIN, 18 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 5-13 FG, 1-5 3FG, 7-8 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -5 +/-

Kyle had a fairly average game for his standards. He was one of the raps most productive contributors on offence, took a charge (duh), and perhaps most importantly, he picked up his teammates when they were down and mightily dejected. If the Raptors are going to turn this thing around, they’re going to need more of that sort of stuff from their unquestioned leader.

F. VanVleet33 MIN, 35 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 13-20 FG, 6-9 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -9 +/-

Here on QR, the name of the game is to give out grades. As it stands, I’m highly suspicious that Mr. VanVleet stole the answers to the test. Hit his first 4 triples, was seen ripping through the seams of the Celtic D on numerous occasions, contested shots, and generally outplayed anyone else in a Raptor uniform. FVV was one of the lone bright sparks in what was otherwise a fairly pathetic performance from Toronto on Monday night.

A. Baynes13 MIN, 0 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

When your best asset as an NBA basketball player is your height, one would expect you to be able to make wide open layups. Tonight was one to forget for the big Aussie, as he consistently botched a series of bunnies, rebounded poorly and didn’t really bring anything positive to the table for his team.

C. Boucher20 MIN, 9 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 2-6 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-6 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -4 +/-

If there was a tangible metric to measure hustle, Boucher would be among the league leaders. The dude’s second, third and even sometimes fourth efforts are incredible. He contests shots most bigs would give up on, gets after it on the offensive glass and just looks like he really cares 100% of the time he’s out there. All of the above was on display tonight. His contributions in the box score are starting to become a nightly occurrence, easily making him the most improved Raptor of the season.

T. Davis17 MIN, 13 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-2 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

We saw some solid minutes for TD for the first time since game one of the season. He provided some much needed offensive spark for his team, and threw down one emphatic jam that was worth a B all on its own.

N. Powell16 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -15 +/-

Powell plays his most effective basketball when he plays downhill and with a high level of aggression every minute he’s out there. He gave the Raps some great minutes early, but when things started to unravel, so did his offence.

M. Flynn15 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-6 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

In his first bunch of meaningful NBA minutes, Flynn looked a little deer in headlights-ish out there. After the dust settled, he played great on-ball defence and handled the ball with confidence. Moving forward, I would love to see Nurse play Flynn in more lineups where he gets minutes as the primary ball handler.

S. Johnson10 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -3 +/-

Taking advantage of the consistent uptick in his minutes, Johnston played with energy that warrants a conversation for his presence in the lineup to continue. He got his hands in passing lanes early, and did a solid job of putting himself in position to space the floor, but couldn’t knock down his shots.

A. Len8 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -6 +/-

He was better than Baynes, but that’s not really saying much.

Y. Watanabe4 MIN, 3 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

If Watanabe’s teammates continue to underperform in their minutes, he could be an interesting look for the Raps off the bench moving forward. He’s a tenacious rebounder who’s quick on his feet for his size. If he can hit the occasional three I think he brings some value to the table.

P. Watson3 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-

Didn’t get enough run for any real feedback tonight.

Nick Nurse

This was one of those nights where you could’ve revived Red Auerbach from the dead and let him run the show and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Nurse experimented with some new rotations throughout this one, and with how his team has played to start the season, who can blame him? There were definitely some teachable moments for the Raptors coaching staff tonight, but Nick Nurse is just one piece of the puzzle.

Things We Saw

  1. Looking to bust out of an early season funk, against the team who knocked you out of last year’s playoffs in 7 games – this had all the makings of a revenge game for Toronto. Instead, it turned out to be a salt on the wound game for Boston. From the second quarter onward, it was abundantly clear that the green team were the ones playing with saltiness of a scorned ex-lover. They beat Toronto in nearly every facet of the game and cemented the Raptors record at 1-5, which is (gulp) the second worst record in the NBA.
  2. Payton Prichard can play the game of basketball. On a night where the loss of Marcus Smart had Vegas oddsmakers favouring Toronto to win by 6 points, Prichard looked like a crafty NBA vet in just his 6th professional game. The Celtics may have found a gem in the Oregon star guard, one who looks supremely comfortable running the offence for Beantown. Great for the NBA, but not so great for their Atlantic division rivals up north.
  3. Yet again, the Raptors showed flashes of brilliance which built them a 12-point lead, and yet again, they were unable to sustain a high level of play due to abysmal defence. In a league where many of Toronto’s foes improved via free agency or the draft, as they lost two starters, consistently great defence is the only way this team will be able to stay competitive in 2021. It’s been a glaring hole that Nurse and his players can’t address quick enough.

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