Celtics (11-4) vs. Raptors (7-9)
Game time: 7:30pm, TD Garden. TV – ESPN, CSN. RADIO – WEEI-AM (850).
Bos: Pierce – 20.1 Raptors: Chris Bosh – 25.4
Bos: Garnett – 7.3 Raptors: Bosh – 11.9
Bos: Rondo – 8.7 Raptors: Jose Calderon – 6.6
Who'll go off: Paul Pierce. Call me a genius for sticking with the only consistent offensive force on the Celtics. I also like his chances going against a defense that is giving up more points per game (108) than the Knicks. I'm also hoping Rajon Rondo takes the ball right at the bigger, slower Jose Calderon.
Who needs to be stopped: Chris Bosh is averaging a career-high 25 ppg, but he's never really done much damage to the Celtics or Kevin Garnett. The Celtics need to guard the perimeter and stay close to Calderon and Hedo Turkoglu.
The C's will lose if… they lose focus on the defensive end. Toronto can score. They have a slew of great shooters and protect the ball. The C's cannot get caught up in an offensive game, or else we'll see a replica of their last game in MSG.
Wildcard: The Raptors are coming off an embarrassing 35 point loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. The Celtics have won 4 straight over Toronto and 8-of-9. Might a pissed off Raptors team finally get a win over an inconsistent Celtics team? Another thing to keep in mind – (for whatever reason) the Celtics are 1-3 on Friday night's this year.
Prediction: Celtics 101 – Toronto 89