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Preview: Celtics at Raptors 11/4

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Raptors Coverage    HoopsAddict   l  RaptorsHQ Raptors Forum      

Boston Celtics (1-0) at Toronto Raptors (2-0)
Sunday, November 4
2:30 pm Eastern
TV: CSN, League Pass 751
Radio:  WEEI
Air Canada Center
Celtics logo

Starting Matchups

PG:  Rajon Rondo vs TJ Ford
SG:  Ray Allen vs Tony ParkerCeltics logo
SF:   Paul Pierce vs Jason Kapono
PF:   Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
C:     Kendrick Perkins vs Andrea Bargnani 
 
Key Matchups:
Rajon Rondo vs TJ Ford
his is a battle of 2 ultra quick point guards as Rajon will be facing one of the few PGs who may be even quicker than him. In their first meeting, TJ outscored Rondo 15-4 with a slight nod to Rondo on assists 6 -5. With the point guard being the floor general, these two will be responsible for setting the tone for their teams.
 
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
Kevin Garnett is one of the best power forwards ever and Chris Bosh is one of the best up and coming power forwards. This should be a good match up with KG having the advantage because of experience and a height advantage. In their last meeting in Rome, KG clearly had the advantage with 19 points and 16 rebounds to 12 points and 9 rebounds for Bosh. 
 
Game Notes  
The Raptors are the defending Atlantic division champions and are out to send a message that last year wasn't a fluke. Not one of 30 GM's picked them to repeat as division champions and that will add fuel to their fire. After beating the Sixers 106-97 in their season opener, they sent a message to the Nets with a 106-69 thrashing in New Jersey. They would love nothing better than to send the same kind of message to the Celtics.  This Raptors team has been together for a year and have been playing very well.  The Celtics are still finding their chemistry and will have lapses until they get everything worked out.  This will be a big test for the Celtics as it is a road game and they won't have the crowd behind them and they are facing a very motivated  team that is playing very well.      
 
Keys to the Game:
Defense
The Raptors are a perimeter shooting team and can beat teams with threes. The key to this game is going to be controlling the tempo and playing tough team defense keeping them from getting into their rhythm beyond the arc. Andrea Bargnani will draw the defenses out with his outside shooting and Bosh can set up inside or TJ Ford can drive to the hoop.  They can beat you in several ways and the Celtics have to be ready to defend both inside and on the perimeter.    

Ball Movement
The Celtics have to move the ball and find the open man. They didn't do that for stretches against the Wizards, but won't get away with it against the Raptors who are playing very well and whose defense is much better than Washington's.
 
Bench Play
The Raptors have a strong and talented bench.  Our bench is going to have to play well both on offense and defense in order to not let the game get away from them while the starters rest.   James Posey should play an important role in this game.  Doc will probably continue to leave at least one of the 3 stars on the floor at all times which should help.  .