The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors rekindle their rivalry in this Eastern Conference Semifinals rematch on Thursday. The Celtics not only won that 2020 playoffs series, but they reigned supreme in the first fixture between the two teams this season.
Fixture: Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Thursday, February 11th, 7:30 PM ET (Friday, 6 AM IST)
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors have found their mojo after starting the season 1-6. They’ve won five of their last six games and currently occupy the fifth seed in the East, right behind the Boston Celtics. The likes of Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam have picked up their pace while Fred VanVleet has been good all season.
Normal Powell has done a fantastic job for the Toronto Raptors in the absence of OG Anunoby although the latter is in line for a return on Thursday. The find of the season for the Raptors, Chris Boucher has been phenomenal as the backup center. He managed 17 points and 16 rebounds in the last game against Washington.
Key Player – Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet’s production has been one of the major reasons behind the Toronto Raptors’ change in fortunes. He’s averaged 27.2 points on nearly 50% shooting in the last five games. VanVleet scored 35 in his last game against the Boston Celtics and will be hoping to relive that performance. He’ll also have the task of guarding Jaylen Brown.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G Kyle Lowry, G Fred VanVleet, F OG Anunoby, F Pascal Siakam, C Aron Baynes
Boston Celtics Preview
Boston Celtics’ recent run has been a case of the team failing to execute plans down the stretch. They managed to cut their deficit to just four points against the Utah Jazz with little time to play and still got blown out. Their defense has improved considerably in the last couple of weeks but they’ve struggled to score the points.
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been excellent but there hasn’t been much respite outside this duo. Kemba Walker can be the Boston Celtics’ X-factor against Toronto Raptors but he’s yet to find his stride. They also need to find a way to create better looks instead of just forcing the issue after the opposition defense is in position.
Key Player – Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum only went 7-of-20 from the field in the Boston Celtics’ last game but he’s always found a way to bounce back after a tough night this season. He’ll get that opportunity against the Toronto Raptors who’ve almost always found it difficult to defend him. Tatum even managed 40 points in the last meeting between the two sides.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Kemba Walker, G Jaylen Brown, F Jayson Tatum, F Daniel Theis, C Tristan Thompson
Raptors vs Celtics Match Prediction
The Toronto Raptors are playing sizzling basketball right now but their recent string of victories has majorly come against teams with a bad defense. That’s not the case for the Boston Celtics who will also be well-rested as compared to their opponents who’ll be playing on a second consecutive night.
The Celtics have come close in their recent losses so expect them to finally get over the hump and win this game.
Where to watch Raptors vs Celtics?
Coverage of this game will be available on SN in Canada. Local telecast of the same in the USA will be carried by NBC Sports Boston. You can also live stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.
Published 11 Feb 2021, 17:55 IST