The Toronto Raptors faced off against the visiting Boston Celtics and from the opening tip you knew this was going to be a game where Toronto had to match the fire power that Boston has. The game concluded with a score of 105-96 and there were many ups and many downs throughout the game. Make no mistake though, Toronto was in this one for the entire game.
The main issue with Toronto last night was clearly the three point shooting. Toronto shot 4-32 from three as a team which is 12.5 percent, compared to the Boston Celtics shooting 16-39 from three which is 41 percent. That massive disparity in three point production made winning this game an extremely tall task for the Toronto Raptors. Despite the outside shooting woes, Toronto kept it close throughout most of the contest and RJ Barrett led the way last night.
RJ finished the game with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists and the majority of his points came from tough baskets around the rim. What really stood out about Barrett’s game last night was the ease in which he moved toward the basket without the ball. He willingly would give the ball up when there was no lane for him to create for himself, and just immediately dive toward the basket in give and go scenarios. RJ showed great poise and subtleness when moving off the ball, and he was great attacking off the catch as well. For RJ to continuously post these great scoring numbers primarily working off the ball is outstanding.
Immanuel Quickley poured in 21 points of his own, and while it wasn’t the most efficient it was points that were well needed last night. Quickley showed off his great in between game and was dicing up the Celtics from the mid range area for a lot of his buckets. Pascal SIakam ad Scottie Barnes had 17 and 10 points respectively and when you are facing a team like the Boston Celtics, that is just not going to cut it. Neither star could really get into a rhythm, especially from beyond the arc but there were moments where they contributed to runs that helped Toronto keep it close.
Defensively Toronto was sending plenty of doubles all over, and they did well to contain Tatum, but the thing about the Boston Celtics is they have so much fire power. Even with Jaylen Brown not playing, even with Tatum being held under 20 points, they got 44 points from their backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Derrick White which includes 9 threes between these two players. Despite all this, the Raptors kept this game close until very late, cutting the Celtics lead to just 4 points towards the end of this game. But a dagger three from Derrick White after being found by Tatum after a double was sent sealed the deal.
When you shoot 12 percent from three it’s going to be extremely hard to win a game against any team in the league, but credit the Raptors for keeping this game competitive despite the huge disparity from there. Unfortunately this loss continues Toronto’s losing streak and they will look to break it against the Miami Heat in their matchup tomorrow night.