The NBA’s second round is in full swing as two games are up on the board again for Monday night. One of these matchups will be between the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors. These two teams have played well throughout this series, which should lead to a great Game 5. This game will tip off at around 6:30 PM Eastern time.
The Celtics had earned a record of 48-24 throughout the regular season, which put them in third place of the Eastern Conference. Boston met up with the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round and eliminated them in a strong four game sweep. The Celtics jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, but are now tied up. Boston will look to take the series lead back with a win in Game 5.
Toronto finished out the regular season with a record of 53-19, which secured them the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors met up with the Brooklyn Nets in the first round and eliminated them in four games. Toronto has battled back in this series to tie it up and will look to keep that going with a win on Monday night.
These two teams have played in a strong series so far, which should lead to a great pivotal Game 5. Both teams were able to put up dominant sweeps in their first round matchup and will now look to push their opponent to the brink of elimination. I expect both teams to come out strong as they understand the strength of winning Game 5.
The first game of this series was back on August 30. Kyle Lowry put up an impressive 17 points and 8 assists, while Serge Ibaka finished with 15 points of the bench. It was not enough though, as Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum finished with 21 points each. The Celtics starting lineup combined for 90 points as Boston took Game 1 112-94.
Game 2 of this series was on September 1. OG Anunoby scored 20 points, while Fred VanVleet scored 19 points. It was once again not enough though as the Raptors fell short. Jayson Tatum finished with 34 points, while Marcus Smart earned 19 points. The Celtics put up a strong final frame to earn a 102-99 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
The third game of this series was on September 3. Kemba Walker finished with 29 points, while Jaylen Brown had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Lowry scored 31 points and 8 assists. Fred VanVleet scored 25 points, while OG Anunoby scored the buzzer beating three to give Toronto a 104-103 win to make this series 2-1 in favor of Boston.
Game 4 of this series was on September 5. Jayson Tatum had another strong performance, putting up 24 points and 10 rebounds. Pascal Siakam dropped 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Serge Ibaka had 18 points off the bench to propel the Raptors to a 100-93 win to tie up the series.
Field Goal Shooting
The Celtics have been a strong defensive team, but have not been the best shooters in the playoffs. Boston has capitalized on 45.2 percent of their shots from the field, which is seventh out the remaining eight teams. The Celtics have only made 34.5 percent of their three point shots, which is also seventh place in the postseason.
Toronto has played a similarly defensive style in the playoffs, but have been slightly better shooters over Boston. The Raptors have made around 45.2 percent of their shots from the field in the playoffs. Toronto has also made around 37.2 percent of their shots from deep, which is fourth of the remaining playoff teams.
These two teams have been solid at shooting from the field, but it has been their defense that has helped them reach this point in the postseason. The Celtics held Philadelphia to a 39.6 percent shooting percentage from the field, while Toronto held Brooklyn to a 39.7 percent shooting percentage in the first round. Both defenses will look to shut down their opponent to win Game 5.
Jayson Tatum has been extremely strong throughout this playoff run. Tatum has been averaging 25.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds. Kemba Walker has averaged 22 points and 5 assists per game. Jaylen Brown is averaging 19 points per game and 7 rebounds. Marcus Smart has helped round out the lineup, averaging 11.5 points per game.
Fred VanVleet has had a nice postseason, averaging 19.5 points and 7.5 assists per game. Pascal Siakam has averaged 19 points and 7.5 rebounds, while Kyle Lowry is averaging 17 points per game. Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell are averaging 16 points and 12 points off the bench, respectively. OG Anunoby is also averaging 11.5 points per game in this postseason run.
These two teams have been led by a nice run of players in this playoff run. The Celtics have seen a strong showing from Tatum in the playoffs, who has been tough for Toronto to stop. Boston will look to run the offense through him to open up the lanes for the rest of their team as they try and get the series lead back.
These two teams have met in a great back and forth series so far, which should lead to a great matchup on Monday night. The Celtics and the Raptors find themselves tied in a 2-2 series, which makes Game 5 extremely important for both teams. Boston has lost back to back, including a tough to swallow Game 3. The Celtics will need to forget this as they try and take the lead back over Toronto.
BetOnline has Boston listed as a -1 against the spread for this one. This gives a slight edge to the Celtics coming into Game 5. I believe that this is right. Boston had a great chance to take a 3-0 series lead, but are now all tied up. I believe the Celtics will get back to their game to take the series lead back over the Raptors.