The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors will settle this series once and for all in Game 7 this Friday, September 11th evening at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, and it’s been the most competitive series of the Disney restart bubble to date.
While the Celtics own two blowouts in the six games of the series played so far, the other four have been close — a few decided by a single possession.
What kind of a game will we get this evening? How will each team come out and play? The Celtics have struggled in some games to play well at the start of each half, but have dominated when they take care of the little things and play their best defense.
The Raptors have been the worse team throughout save for a few dominant stretches, but play a canny game that shows their championship experience — sometimes the smarter team can gain an advantage where a less experienced team doesn’t even see the potential for grift.
After a double-overtime affair on Wednesday with both teams playing starters into the 50-minute range, the Celtics may have just a little more spring in their step given both their comparative youth and the fact that at least Raptors center Serge Ibaka played over 20 minutes on an unhealed sprained ankle.
Apart from that health-related contingency, both teams are likely to play all the same players as were available in Game 6. Forward Gordon Hayward (ankle), rookies Javonte Green (knee) and Vincent Poirier (personal reasons) are all scratches for the game for Boston, but also were not expected to play.
The Raptors report no new injuries.
All things being equal, Boston has been the better-playing team this series, and has responded best when the pressure is high, as it will be in this contest.
With that in mind, we predict the third and final blowout of the series, the Celtics winning 129-101.
Most online sportsbooks agree Boston will win, the average spread falling between -2 and -3.