Gameday: Celtics @ Raptors, Oct 14th

The Raptors head to Montreal for their final preseason game.

The Raptors close out the preseason in Montreal in a rematch against the Boston Celtics. Their earlier match ended in a come-from-behind overtime victory from Toronto. The Raptors limp into this match following two disappointing losses to the Rockets and Bulls respectively. The Celtics beat the Hornets 112-103 a week ago, and have the chance to avenge their only pre-season loss against Toronto tonight. 

It’s been an underwhelming pre-season so far for Toronto’s starters, having lost to two of last season’s leakiest defenses. It’s been an underwhelming campaign for Scottie Barnes in particular although coach Nick Nurse offered some insight onto why that may be:

The Raptors starters through four games have looked sluggish and uninterested. Whether it’s offseason rust or apathy for meaningless basketball, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on tonight and as the season begins.

Tonight’s game will cap off what has been an intense battle for the (presumably) final roster spot between Justin Champagnie, Jeff Dowtin Jr, Josh Jackson, DJ Wilson, and Gabe Brown. Wilson, who found himself playing rotation minutes for the Raptors at times last season, has had the most underwhelming preseason of the group. 

Jackson and Brown have each shown flashes and will certainly give the Raptors staff some pause prior to any decision-making. Dowtin Jr has continued his run of great form from his stint with the Raptors summer league into the preseason. Champagnie remains as the biggest question mark, and perhaps even still the favorite to secure the final spot. After missing all of summer league with a thumb injury, and the first few preseason games with hip soreness, Champagnie made his debut against the Bulls but saw limited minutes. While the injuries are cause for concern, what he accomplished with the Raptors and Raptors 905 last season speaks for itself. As a rookie last season, Champagnie played himself into coach Nurse’s strict minutes rotation where he showed potential as a 3nD caliber wing, excelled on the glass, and showed unusual off-the-ball savvy for such a young player. In the G-League, he showed further improvement, averaging over 20 points and shooting 40% from three. It hasn’t been the greatest off-season for the now second-year wing, but his case for making the team may still be the strongest. Either way, the Raptors have until October 17th to make their final decisions, tonights game should factor into that one way or another. 

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7:30 pm EDT | TV: TSN4 | Radio: n/a

Raptors Lineup

Chris Boucher (hamstring), Otto Porter Jr (hamstring), and Malachi Flynn (facial fracture) will be out for today’s game. Update: Pascal Siakam (rest) is out, as is Gary Trent jr. (IT band).

PG: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton

SG: O.G. Anunoby, Josh Jackson, Jeff Dowtin Jr., Ron Harper Jr.

SF: Precious Achiuwa, Justin Champagnie, Gabe Brown

PF: Scottie Barnes, Thaddeus Young, D.J. Wilson, Juancho Hernangomez

C: Khem Birch, Christian Koloko

Celtics Lineup

Danilo Gallinari is out for the season with a torn ACL. Robert Williams is out for 8-12 weeks following knee surgery. Luke Kornet (ankle) remains questionable.

PG: Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Payton Prichard, JD Davison

SG: Derrick White, Sam Hauser, Brodric Thomas

SF: Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, Jake Layman, Justin Jackson

PF: Jayson Tatum, Noah Vonleh, Luka Samanic

C: Al Horford, Mfiondu Kabengele, Blake Griffin

Upcoming Raptors Schedule

(all times EDT)

Wednesday, Oct 19th vs Cavaliers: 7:30

Friday, Oct 21 @ Nets: 7:30

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