Boston Celtics (2-0) at Toronto Raptors (1-1)
Friday, October 10,2014
7:30 PM ET
Preseason Game #3, Road Game #1
TV: CSN-HD, NBA-TV Canada
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Air Canada Center
Referees: Mark Lindsay, Justin Van Duyne, James Capers
The Celtics hit the road for the first time in the preseason to take on the Toronto Raptors in Toronto. Last season, the Raptors won 3 of 4 games from the Celtics and won the season series for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
The Raptors return all 5 starters from a team that won 48 games last season. One of their off season additions was former Celtic Greg Stiemsma. They also were a tough defensive team allowing opponents only 98 points per game. These two teams have combined to win the Atlantic Division 7 of the last 8 years.
The Celtics should start the same 5 players as they have in the first two games because that lineup obviously works. However, since it is the preseason and coaches love to experiment in the preseason, Brad Stevens may change things up and try a different starting lineup. The Raptors are starting the same starting lineup that they used last year with Landry Fields starting in place of the injured Terrence Ross. I expect they will stick with the same lineup for this game.
Jeff Green, Vitor Faverani, Rajon Rondo, and James Young are all expected to miss this game for the Celtics. For the Raptors, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson, and Lucas Noguiera are all listed as day to day. If Ross can play, he will more than likely move back into the starting lineup.
Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk
Off the Bench
Marcus Thornton, Rodney McGruder, Tim Frazier
Brandon Bass, Erik Murphy, Dwight Powell, Christian Watford
Tyler Zeller, Joel Anthony
Rajon Rondo (hand) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Jeff Green (calf) out
James Young (hamstring) out
Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas
Off the Bench
Will Cherry, Greivis Vasquez
James Johnson, Jordan Hamilton
Tyler Hansbrough, Bruno Caboclo
Greg Stiemsma, Chuck Hayes
Terrance Ross (ankle,knee) day to day
Patrick Patterson (hand, knee) day to day
Lucas Noguiera (hamstring) day to day
Players to Watch
Jared Sullinger has been playing very well on both ends of the court. Hopefully he can be as effective against Toronto's big front line as he was against New York's big front line.
Dwight Powell showed some nice moves and was very effective in his limited time on the court in the Celtics last game. I'd like to see more of him. He'd be a nice addition to the team if they could clear space to keep him.
DeMar DeRozan is a dangerous scorer. He is averaging 22 points a game so far in the preseason and is the Raptors' leading scorer.
Kyle Lowry is the Raptors' second leading scorer with 15.0 points and 4.5 assists per game.
This will be a good test for the Celtics defensive back court of Smart and Bradley as they try to contain the Raptors' two top scorers.
Keys to the Game
Pace and Space
It has been fun watching the Celtics run and space the floor by moving the ball quickly. If they continue to play like this, they give themselves a good chance to win every game.
Defense has always been a key to winning. The Celtics have been playing good defense so far this season and have been very scrappy on that end. They need to keep that up. With one of the best defensive backcourts in the league, hopefully defense is going to be one of the Celtics calling cards this season.
Work the Offense
The Celtics struggled on the offensive end vs the Sixers but then broke out offensively against the Knicks. It won't be quite as easy against a tough defensive team like the Raptors but they need to move the ball and continue to take good shots and hopefully those shots will fall. The key for the Celtics this season will be balance on the offense with all of the players chipping in rather than one player taking on the offensive burden.
Mark Lindsay - Lindsay is beginning his 8th season in the league. Prior to working in the NBA, he worked for five seasons in the NBA Development League, officiating 116 games, including playoff games in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games with Lindsay, while the Raptors are 4-6 in their last 10.
Justin Van Duyne - Van Duyne officiated 16 games in the NBA as a non-staff official last season. This will be his first time calling a game for both the Celtics and the Raptors.
James Capers - Capers is currently in his 20th season as an NBA official. In addition to his NBA experience,
Capers has six years of CBA officiating experience, including three CBA Finals and two CBA All-Star Games. The Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games with Capers and the Raptors are 8-2 in their last 10 games with Capers on the court.