The Toronto Raptors finally return home from their west coast trip as they had been on the road for over a week.
After starting the trip 2-1, the Raptors would lose three straight to close it out. However, now the team gets to return home for a three-game homestand.
Losing the finale 145-113 to the Utah Jazz was a somber note to the road trip, so rebounding from that poor performance is important. But, they meet a familiar foe in the Boston Celtics.
This is the last meeting between the two teams as the Celtics have taken the first three meetings. Boston is sitting pretty with a 30-9 record. They are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, which makes for a challenging game.
Toronto played Boston tough in the last two meetings, losing by 2 and 3 points. It would be a great and much-needed win against a championship-contending team.
The Celtics will be without Jaylen Brown, as he is out with right knee hyperextension, which is a blow to their offense. With Boston’s depth lacking, this increases Toronto’s chances of winning.
Toronto is without Jakob Poeltl, Christian Koloko and Otto Porter Jr. Koloko has yet to see the floor this season, Porter Jr. is not in the rotation and Poeltl’s injury weighs heavily on the team as they are thin on the frontline.
Thankfully, there isn’t a physically imposing center for the Celtics, but Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday and Derrick White can still get downhill and attack the paint.
Despite no Brown, the Celtics offense is explosive and can still put points on the board, so head coach Darko Rajakovic needs to game plan accordingly. The Celtics lead the league in 3-pointers made at 631, shooting 37.8% from 3, which is ranked No. 8.
Containing the 3-point line for the Raptors is going to be important and may be the deciding factor in tonight’s game.
Toronto Raptors (15-24) vs. Boston Celtics (30-9)
7:30 p.m. ET, Monday, January 15, 2024
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada
Projected Raptors Starting Lineup:
PG: Immanuel Quickley
SG: RJ Barrett
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Thaddeus Young
Key Reserves: Dennis Schroder, Gary Trent Jr., Jontay Porter
Projected Celtics Starting Lineup:
PG: Derrick White
SG: Jrue Holiday
SF: Sam Hauser
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis
Key Reserves: Payton Pritchard, Al Horford, Luke Kornet
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