Last night, the Toronto Raptors lost 112-106 to the Boston Celtics in game two of the regular season. Here’s what went wrong:
The Boston Celtics have a strong offensive team. Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown lead the team on the offensive end, with over 20 points each.
The interesting part about this game, however, was that Toronto had better numbers from the field and behind the arc. From the field, the Raptors shot 47.4 per cent, while the Celtics shot 38.5 per cent. From three-point range, Toronto shot 50.0 per cent, and Boston shot 34.2 per cent.
On the Raptors offensive end, Pascal Siakam had another stellar performance. He had 33 points, and is shooting 45.8 per cent from the field and 58.3 per cent from behind the arc. Kyle Lowry also made a significant impact on the floor. He had 29 points, four rebounds and seven assists in his 40 minutes on the floor.
Despite the offensive efficiency, the Celtics attempted many more shots than Toronto. Boston attempted 109 field goal attempts, whereas Toronto failed to break 80. So how did Toronto lose this game, despite being more efficient in their shot attempts?
The answer: it came down to defence. The key to winning this game for the Raptors was to keep our defence in tact while making an impact while on offence. Although Toronto made a decent amount of the shots that they took, their defence wasn’t so hot.
The Raptors turned the ball over a total of 23 times in the game, compared to the nine turnovers from the Celtics. Boston also had 21 offensive rebounds, whereas Toronto only have five. The Raptors won’t win if they can’t keep the ball for a full possession or protect their boards.
Marc Gasol’s 25 minutes on the floor earned Toronto a whopping one point last night, along with just five rebounds. Serge Ibaka was a smidge better, with 13 points and eight boards. Both centres need to pave the way for success in the paint (and it would be nice to see more than a combined 14 points and 13 rebounds).
I’m not saying that we should be jumping ship after two games, but out of the two performances that we have seen from the Raptors, I think that there are some gaps on both the offensive and defensive fronts.
The Raptors get ready to face the Bulls tonight, which should be the easier night of their back-to-back (emphasis on the SHOULD). Chicago is also 1-1 so far, after their 110-102 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies last night.
The keys to tonights game:
- Protect your possessions. No more ridiculous amounts of turnovers and missed rebounds.
- Keep Zach LaVine, Coby White and Lauri Markkanen at bay (especially from three-point range).
- Establish a rhythm on the offensive end.
Eighty games to go. Let’s see what the Raps have in store.
Tip off is at 8 p.m. ET