Raise your hand if you had the Toronto Raptors having a 3-1 record at this point in the month despite having the Bucks, Sixers and Mavs (combined 19-6) on the schedule.
Especially coming off an uninspiring home loss to previously winless Portland.
Hand raised? Liar!
A win in Boston would make an already successful road trip (2-1) that much sweeter.
Raptors scope (4-4, 8th in East | Offensive Rating: 18th | Defensive Rating: T-6th)
Look at the offensive rating climb! Toronto was 25th before Wednesday’s win. 127 points will do that.
The Raptors have already found a variety of ways to win recently. They had a season high 35 assists, making 15 threes against Milwaukee. The Spurs game put Scottie Barnes on display, erasing a 22 point deficit. And Pascal Siakam mismatch hunting, dominating smaller Mavs defenders en route to a 72-40 points in the paint advantage was the story in Dallas.
The consistency from OG Anunoby and Dennis Schroder has been spectacular. Anunoby’s true shooting percentage is 67.1 this season, which is top 20 in the league. He is posting career highs in field goal (55.3) and three point (41.7) percentage. Meanwhile Schroder’s already impressive numbers have taken a jump in November, averaging 19.8 points and eight assists a game. Louis took a deep dive on Schroder’s contributions yesterday. Gary Trent Jr. is also coming off his most efficient game of the season in Dallas.
Last but not least, Darko Rajakovic has been making strides game by game. His rotations have been better, and you couldn’t help but smile to see Darko embarrass Ben Taylor with back to back successful challenges after what happened last season.
Celtics scope (6-2, 2nd in East | Offensive Rating: 4th | Defensive Rating: 3rd)
Boston is playing on the second night of a back to back after defeating Brooklyn 121-107 yesterday. The Celtics talent amongst their starting five is obvious. Kristaps Porzingis has fit in beautifully, averaging nearly 20 points per game on 54/39/84 splits. Jrue Holiday is averaging nearly eight boards, a career-high for him. He also leads the Celtics in assists.
However reserves Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser also combined for 28 points against the Nets. Hauser shot 5-10 from three. The Celtics feature a couple of Canadians and former Raptors off their bench in Oshae Brissett and Dalano Banton.
Tip-Off: 7pm EST | TV: TSN 4 | Radio: Sportsnet 590
Precious Achiuwa (groin) is questionable, he has missed the last five games. Christian Koloko (illness) and the two-way players (Javon Freeman-Liberty, Markquis Nowell, Ron Harper Jr.) are out.
PG: Dennis Schroder, Malachi Flynn
SG: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr, Gradey Dick
SF: O.G. Anunoby, Otto Porter Jr, Jalen McDaniels, Garrett Temple
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa
Al Horford didn’t play yesterday due to right knee injury management. Game time decision for this one.
PG: Jrue Holiday, Payton Pritchard, Dalano Banton
SG: Derrick White, Svi Mykhailiuk
SF: Jaylen Brown, Sam Hauser
PF: Jayson Tatum, Oshae Brissett, Lamar Stevens
C: Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, Luke Kornet
Boston is favoured by eight points. The Celtics own the best point differential per game (+12.2) but is this too much on a back to back against a Raptor team that is starting to gel? Raptors moneyline is +275. Over/Under is 221.