The NBA is set up with an exciting night of action throughout September 5. Two games will be up on the board throughout Saturday night. One of these games will be Game 4 between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics. These two teams met in a great Game 3 and I expect them to bounce back with another good on Saturday. This game will tip off at around 6:30 PM Eastern time.
Toronto finished out the regular season with a record of 53-19, which put them in second place of the Eastern Conference. The Raptors met up with the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, where they swept them. Toronto found themselves down early in the series, but will look to tie it up in Game 4 on Saturday night.
The Celtics posted a record of 48-24 throughout the regular season, which had them finish in third place of the Eastern Conference. Boston met up with the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs, where they eliminated them in a four game sweep as well. The Celtics jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, but lost a tough Game 3.
These two teams are in an exciting 2-1 series so far this round. Boston lost a heartbreaker in Game 3 of this series, which could hurt their momentum coming into Game 4. The Celtics will look to respond with a huge win in this one though. If the Raptors can pick up with the momentum from Game 3, it could help them tie up the series.
Game 1 of this series was on August 30. Kyle Lowry dropped 17 points and 8 assists, but it was not enough. Jayson Tatum had 21 points and 9 rebounds, while Marcus Smart had 21 points as well. Kemba Walker finished with 18 points and 10 assists, while Jaylen Brown put up 17 points. The Celtics earned a 112-94 win to earn a 1-0 series lead.
The second game of this series was on September 1. OG Anunoby finished with 20 points, while Fred VanVleet put up 19 points. It was not enough though for the Raptors. Jayson Tatum finished with 34 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Marcus Smart earned 19 points and Kemba Walker dropped 17 points. The Celtics finished with a 102-99 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
Game 3 of the series was on September 3. Kemba Walker dropped 29 points, while Jaylen Brown finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had a huge game with 31 points and 8 assists and Fred VanVleet posted 25 points. OG Anunoby put up the buzzer beating three to give Toronto a 104-103 win to make the series 2-1.
Boston is one missed shot from having a 3-0 series lead over the Raptors. The Celtics dominated Toronto throughout the regular season, finishing with a 3-1 season series lead. Boston won one of those games in the bubble by a score of 122-100. The Celtics have been better than Toronto this season in head to head, which the Raptors will look to figure out in Game 4.
Field Goal Percentage
The Raptors have put up a strong shooting percentage throughout this postseason. Toronto has made around 46 percent of their shots from the field, which is sixth in the remaining NBA teams. The Raptors have also made 37 percent of their shots from deep, which is a solid stat. Toronto held Brooklyn to a 39.7 percent field goal percentage and a 33.7 percent three point percentage.
Boston’s field goal shooting and three point shooting has not been great. The Celtics have posted a 45.3 percent field goal percentage, which is seventh of the remaining eight playoff teams. Boston has also made around 36.6 percent of their shots from deep. The Celtics held Philadelphia to a 39.6 percent shooting percentage from the field, while holding them to a 26.4 percent three point percentage.
Both of these teams have played really strong on defense throughout the playoffs. The Raptors have had a slightly better shooting percentage, but Boston has had the better defense. If the Celtics can continue to shut down Toronto’s offense, they should be able to take a nice 3-1 series lead. The Raptors need to find some rhythm early to make Boston uncomfortable.
Fred VanVleet is averaging 20 points and 7.5 assists per game throughout the playoffs. Pascal Siakam is averaging 18.5 points per game, while Kyle Lowry has averaged 16.5 points per game. Serge Ibaka is averaging 16 points per game off the bench and Norman Powell has averaged 13 points off the bench. OG Anunoby has rounded out the lineup with 11.5 points per game in the postseason.
Jayson Tatum has been the leader for this Celtics team in the playoffs so far. Tatum is averaging 25.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game this postseason. Kemba Walker has averaged 23 points per game, while Jaylen Brown is averaging 19.5 points per game. Marcus Smart is averaging 12 points per game.
These two teams have found success up and down the lineup throughout this series. Toronto has had some help off the bench in this playoff run, while Boston looks to play more of a shutdown game off the bench. The Celtics will look to keep this game more defensive, while the Raptors will look to force Boston to battle them in more of a shootout.
The Celtics have been the better team in this series so far, but will have to bounce back after the insane game winner to put them away in Game 3. Boston has a strong lineup and will look to keep up their success against Toronto. The Raptors will look to pick up that momentum though to tie up this series. I expect the Celtics defense to bounce back though to take a 3-1 series lead.
BetOnline has the Raptors listed as a -113 against the money line in this one. This implies that Toronto will win this game around 53 percent of the time. I believe that the Celtics should be favored in this matchup, so as slight underdogs, I see a lot of value. Boston was half a second away from a 3-0 series lead and I expect them to come out angry after taking that loss.