The Raptors and Celtics both meet tonight on the second night of a back-to-back, and they’ll both be tired.
The Celtics were taken to the wire last night against Cleveland, as they nearly blew a 22-point lead but managed to scrape off a 93-90 win. That was the 2nd time the Celtics played the Cavs in three nights – the first one being a loss on Sunday as Boston blew an 11-point lead.
They seem to be suffering from the same issue the Raptors have suffered from this season – not playing consistently for all four quarters.
In the last two games, Dwane Casey has opted to go with a small line-up of Amir, J. Johnson, DeRozan, Bayless, and Jose. We’ll see if he decides to go with that again tonight, as the Celtics have a tough front-court of Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’neal to deal with.
It would mean that JJ would have to guard Kevin Garnett; while Bayless would have the task of shutting down Ray Allen.
Rajon Rondo is doubtful for tonight’s game, as he’s missed the last seven games with an injured wrist. De facto, the last time Rondo played was when he scored 21 points against the Raptors on Jan. 18th.
If Rondo is good to go tonight, I’d like to see Bayless guard him on defense. I don’t see any way that Jose will be able to keep up with Rondo; and Bayless has proved his defensive ability against other all-star point guards such as Deron Williams.
The Celtics have struggled this season, and lie at .500 (10-10). Those struggles mainly had to due with injuries to Rondo, Allen, and JO earlier this season. Now the Cetlics seem to finally be finding their groove, and they will look to extend their 7-game home winning streak against the Raptors.
The Raptors of course, will be looking to grab their first win in Boston since 2008 – but they’ll have to do it without Andrea Bargnani. They’ll need a big effort from DeMar DeRozan. The nine points he scored against Atlanta last night just isn’t going to cut it.
Tip-off is at 7:30 pm Eastern.