Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics will have their home opener tonight, and they’ll be looking for a win after dropping their NBA season opener on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Securing that win will be a tough task though as they welcome the reigning champion Toronto Raptors into TD Garden tonight.
The Raptors will be riding high after their overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night as the Celtics look to improve on their own first game issues.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Channel: TSN4, NBCSB
Raptors: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (P), Patrick McCaw (Q)
Celtics: Enes Kanter, Romeo Langford and Tacko Fall (O)
Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup
if Pascal Siakam was looking to prove to Raptors fans that he deserved his max contract extension, call it mission accomplished for the big man. In the Raptors’ season-opening win over the Pelicans. Siakam finished with 34 points, 18 boards, and five assists. h
Siakam was seemingly unstoppable in the Raptors’ 130-122 overtime win, but he was far from the only one that made a splash on Tuesday night. Fred VanVleet, in his new role as the starting shooting guard, was hot from beyond the arc, knocking down several threes on his way to 34 points and seven assists.
“Pascal and Freddy, they are the young core, they are the guys who will carry this thing on,” guard Kyle Lowry said. “I’m so happy for those guys to go out and perform like tonight. We’ll see them grow all year.”
Lowry, the longest-tenured Raptor, chipped in with 22 points, six assists, and five rebounds in the win.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
New Celtics point guard Kemba Walker will be hoping his home debut tonight will go differently than his Celtics debut against the Philadelphia 76ers. In 34 minutes, he finished with 12 points on 22 percent shooting from the field and 16.7 percent from beyond the arc.
“I thought I got my shots, the shots I normally take,” Walker said. “I feel like I got to my spots, I just missed.”
The Celtics were led by Gordon Hayward’s 25 points and Jayson Tatum’s 21 points and 10 rebounds. Enes Kanter had a solid debut with 12 points in 25 minutes, but he suffered a left knee contusion and will be out for tonight’s game.
Boston will need more help from their bench against the Raptors tonight, and they’ll likely be expecting more offense from Jaylen Brown, who just signed a considerable extension with the Celtics. He had 8 points and 7 rebounds against the Pelicans.
Key Player Matchups
Pascal Siakam vs. Jaylen Brown
With the Celtics’ smaller lineup, Brad Stevens is very likely to have Jaylen Brown defend athletic fours like Siakam. It’ll be a tall task for Brown. Siakam has clearly got an edge because of his size alone and he’s not your prototypical slow-moving power forward of the NBA’s former generations so Siakam has the ability to defend on the perimeter and on drives against Brown.
Kyle Lowry vs. Kemba Walker
Lowry versus Walker is a matchup fo two of the NBA’s best point guards. Both play bigger than their positions. Last season, Lowry took a role as more of a distributor with Kawhi Leonard being the Raptors’ biggest offensive weapon, but he figures to be a bigger part of a more balanced offense this season. Expect Walker to bounce back from a rough first game in Celtics green.
Jayson Tatum vs. Fred VanVleet
I expect Tatum and VanVleet to play opposite each other. If that holds up for tonight, this should turn into a matchup of sharpshooters. VanVleet is coming off a career-best scoring game and Tatum can get going in a hurry.
Siakam is a go-to pick for tonight’s game. Aside from the monster performance he had against the Pelicans, he has an interesting matchup tonight. On FanDuel, he is available for $8.9k and is projected for 34.7 points. Kemba Walker is expected to bounce back tonight. He is available for $8.2k and is slated for a big game – 43.3 points.
VanVleet is surely on everyone’s radar after his 34-point game and he’ll be a value play at $6.6k with a projection of 27.42 points. For Boston, look to Hayward, who is expected to rack up 26.7 points and is available for $6.8k.
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