Tip: 12:30 PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Jason Phillips, Courtney Kirkland and Olandis Poole
Get your tickets here: Boston Celtics Tickets
Boston and Toronto split (2-2) their regular season match-ups last season. The Celtics average margin of victory was 29 points. The Celtics have won 8 straight at home over the Raptors.
Get it to: Kevin Garnett
I’m not sure who will guard KG – Andrea Bargnani (pretty please) or rookie Jonas Valanciunas (how do you say mother-fu#%er in Lithuanian?), but either match-up is beneficial to Boston. Let’s just hope Garnett can get his aging body loose enough for the early tip-off.
Gotta stop: Andrea Bargnani
DeMar DeRozan is the Raptors most explosive scorer, but I’m not overly concerned about him. I’m using the reverse lock logic on Bargnani. His scoring is down, he’s shooting just 35% this season, and he’s likely to be locked up with KG. But Bargnani is the type of guy the Celtics might sleep on and he’ll burn them. Let DeRozan get his, but limit the damage by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th options.
The Wild Card: The early tip-off
12:30 tip-offs are rare for the Celtics. They are 1-2 in three noon games over the past two seasons. It’s possible the C’s could sleepwalk through the first half and need a pissed off Doc Rivers to wake them at halftime.
How we see it goin’ down
The Raptors are not a good offensive team (19th in offensive efficiency). They shoot poorly (41% – 26th) and don’t pass well (24th in assists). They are not a good rebounding team (22nd total).
No word yet on Rajon Rondo’s availability. With or without Rondo, I like Boston big. Toronto just isn’t that good.
UPDATE: Rondo is playing