Quick Reaction: Celtics 109, Raptors 97

Box Score

P. Siakam38 MIN, 18 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 8-19 FG, 0-4 3FG, 2- FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -2 +/-

Poor shooting night including missing open looks from three. With OG and GTJ out you would hope he would take this as an opportunity to have a statement game where he does more than his part to lift the team. Instead, we got an average game. That’s the thing with Pascal, he’s a good player when we need him to be great.

P. Achiuwa36 MIN, 6 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 3-11 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -11 +/-

He does everything about 60% right. He’ll make a good cut on the short roll but will throw up a shot which has no chance. He’ll do a spin move but will stop on a dime so hard you think your screen froze. He’ll get in position to challenge an offensive player on the break but then get side-stepped with ease. Kind of got eaten by Kanter.

S. Barnes37 MIN, 21 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 7-16 FG, 4-9 3FG, 4- FT, 1 BLK, 3 TO, -22 +/-

He doesn’t have a green light for shooting threes. He has a bloody green advance arrow which stays on for 48 minutes. In addition to the regular variety of offensive skill usually on display, he took an early transition three, and another over a defender all over him when nobody came to provide a passing option. Guarded pretty much everyone at some point including Horford, Taytum, Brown and Smart. The development in the development year continues.

F. VanVleet40 MIN, 27 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 8-16 FG, 5-10 3FG, 7- FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -2 +/-

The ultimate pressure release valve kept the Raptors in it at the half via three long-range bombs and a couple drives. The second half was much quieter as Boston adjusted and threw more size at him earlier in the possession, taking away those deep bombs. Once it came down to create in congestion, the Celtics length caused enough disruption for VanVleet to be a relative non-factor.

S. Mykhailiuk38 MIN, 12 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 5-14 FG, 2-7 3FG, 0- FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

Provided a bit of a spark off the bench with his defense with a couple of steals. He played his part relatively well but when the big guns aren’t producing then it’s sort of hard to grill into the peasants.

Y. Watanabe14 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-6 FG, 1-4 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, +15 +/-

He’s a good defender. But he’s not that good of a defender where he can get a pass after missing as many clean open threes as he did. Those corner threes need to be hit at a 40% clip or else this will be a net loss situation. Other than that, his versatility on defense is evident.

J. Champagnie7 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2- FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

See Svi. Had some nice moments including a block in the fourth which led to a score, but what exactly are we expecting of a guy like him?

M. Flynn15 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 3-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1- FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

Compared to how he’s been all season this was a decent game. Set up some guys through his own dribble-drives, didn’t concede dribble penetration, and seems to have gained his coach’s confidence to navigate an offense in short spurts. The three-point shot is missing and teams give him space to test it out, which he can’t continually pass up for a short drive to the elbow. At some point he’s going to have to both: 1) nail the three, 2) get by his man to the rim. He made progress on the latter. Having said that, his short roll combination with Precious would be good if the big man could actually finish.

D. Banton3 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0- FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Played for three minutes and then disappeared. No idea why. Maybe Nurse didn’t want him in there due to his lack of three point shooting and was worried about Smart picking his pockets? Or maybe Nurse should’ve forced the tempo by playing him?

I. Bonga11 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0- FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Missed a corner three in the first half after which he was deemed surplus to requirements.

Nick Nurse

The Raptors interior rotations are quite woeful, especially with just one big out there. If Achiuwa comes out to challenge any shot, one interior pass will result in an open look. Not sure how much that’s Nurse’s fault, but there’s only so much you can do with a poorly constructed roster (at the C I mean). He made the right coaching move by bringing in Barnes and Fred back at 8:22 in a four point game in the fourth but that didn’t move the needle. I’d also like to know if forcing guys into the middle via an aggressive closeout is a strategy or a random act of kindness to the offense. Not sure what happened with Banton, you would think this would be a game he’d have a role to play.

Things We Saw

  1. Raps were -9 on the boards which is no good, but expected with Birch out and the Celtics being the more aggressive team.
  2. The foul calls were -5 which is not an issue, even though the broadcast crew would have you believe that.
  3. Bench points 13-32 in favor of Celtics. Without Fred we create little.

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