Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics

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The Celtics have won six of six in the playoffs this year but the Raptors have to end that run if they are going to keep their title defence alive, says Dave Gray…

“Toronto came back from two games down to beat the Bucks in 2019 and will think they can do it again this year.”

Must win for Toronto

Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics
Thursday, 23:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena

The Celtics jumped out to a 2-0 lead to make it six from six in the playoffs. The Raptors started the series as slight favourites but have an uphill battle to keep the defence of their title alive.

Jason Taytum has emerged over the second half of the season as a potential superstar for the Celtics. He had 34 points as they came from behind in game four. But it was Marcus Smart that grabbed the headlines. His five straight threes over the course of three minutes turned the game in Boston’s favour. The two wins in the playoffs come after earlier beating Toronto in the regular season part of the NBA bubble. The Raptors had looked to be a tough match up for any team but the Celtics seem to have their number.

Nick Nurse and co will not be giving up though. The newly crowned coach of the year will take confidence from how much they controlled the game for three and a half quarters. They came back from two games down to beat the Bucks in 2019 and will think they can do it again this year. The Raptors had five players scoring 16 or more in game two and have lots of ways to beat you. They missed 23 of their final 28 shots and still lost by just three.

The Raptors simply have to win this one. 3-0 will be too big of a hole to climb out of against a team with Boston’s quality. They have plenty of big game experience and look for them to come out firing in game three. They can win and keep themselves in the series.

Game seven hangover for the Nuggets

Denver Nuggets @ LA Clippers
Friday, 02:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena

The Nuggets come into this one fresh off of their narrow game seven win over the Jazz to take on the Clippers.

Jamaal Murray was on fire in the opening series. He had two 50 point games to go along with a 42 and 36 against Utah and he will need that if Denver are going to upset the odds and send the Clippers home. LA had been one of the stingier defences pre-bubble but Dallas showed that they are beatable and Murray could be in for another big run of games.

The Clippers can be a tough team to predict. Throughout the regular season they threw in surprising losses between excellent performances but Kawhi Leonard has shown time and time again that when it really matters he plays his best. The Clippers at their best are probably the best team in the league, but getting that level more often is the issue.

We could see a bit of a hangover in this one for Denver so don’t be surprised to see a down game for a lot of their stars. For that reason it is hard to look anywhere but the Clippers. Even at 8.5 favourites you can have some confidence in backing them, even if they do have the potential to throw in their own stinker from time to time.