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On Tuesday, February 6th, the (39-15) Boston Celtics will be on the road to take on the (36-16) Toronto Raptors.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Raptors 107.9 – Celtics 104.5 with an over/under of 212.4.
Statistics (2017-18 season):
Point differential: Raptors +7.6 (3rd) > Celtics +4.8 (4th)
Points per game: Raptors 111.4 (3rd) > Celtics 103.2 (23rd)
Points allowed per game: Celtics 98.4 (2nd) > Raptors 103.8 (10th)
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Raptors 46.8% (7th) > Celtics 44.9% (24th)
Three Point Percentage: Celtics 37.2% (7th) > Raptors 35.0% (25th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Celtics 43.0% (1st) > Raptors 44.9% (6th)
Turnovers committed per game: Raptors 12.9 (5th) > Celtics 13.1 (8th)
Turnovers forced per game: Raptors 14.7 (5th) > Celtics 13.6 (19th)
Rebounds per game: Celtics 44.5 (9th) > Raptors 43.5 (15th)
Assists per game: Raptors 22.7 (12th) > Celtics 22.2 (18th)
Boston sits atop the Eastern Conference despite Gordon Hayward suffering a season ending injury in the opening game. The Celtics are arguably the best defensive team in the NBA allowing the second fewest points and leading the league in opposing field goal percentage (43%). Danny Ainge should win executive of the year after fleecing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. Irving (24.9 PPG and 5.0 APG) is shooting a career high from the field (48.6%) and from three (40.2%). Jaylen Brown (14.2 PPG) had an argument to be an All-Star while Jayson Tatum (13.9 PPG) is clearly one of the NBA’s best young players. AL Horford (13.6 PPG and 7.9 RPG) is one of the most consistent players in the league and surprisingly is the Celtics leading assist man (5.3 APG). I like the addition of Greg Monroe for Boston because beyond Horford their other big men can’t score. The Celtics average 103.2 points per game (23rd) while allowing 98.4 (2nd).
Toronto is quietly the second best team in the East and much of the improvement has come without roster overhaul. The Raptors are the only team in the NBA to rank as a top ten team in points scored and points allowed. DeMar Derozan (24.4 PPG) continues to improve his overall game averaging a career high in assists (5.1 APG). Kyle Lowry (16.5 PPG and 6.5 APG) is one of the more underappreciated players in the league because of his prowess as a two-way player. Toronto has done a great job eliminating turnovers and forcing them on the other end. The Raptors rank 10th in the NBA in bench scoring (39.4). The Raptors average 111.4 points per game (3rd) and allow 103.8 PPG (10th).
The Celtics are (5-5) in their last ten games while Toronto is (7-3). The Celtics won the only head to head match-up this season 95-94 in Boston. Toronto is (21-4) at home this season while Boston is (18-7) on the road. These teams are very evenly matched but I like Toronto to pull out a close one at home.
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