Raptors Take Nose-Dive Against The Celtics

basketball - 12 Nov 2021

Wednesday night saw the Boston Celtics pip the Toronto Raptors 104-88 in a skirmish unnecessarily given away for free.

Scoring big for the Celtics had been Jason Tatum – with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists. Also adding to the winning score had been Robert Williams III with 16 points and 13 rebounds, Dennis Schroder with 20 points, Jason Richardson with 15, and Marcus Smart with 13.

For Toronto, it would be Scottie Barnes very nearly saving the day with his 21 points added to the scoreboard. Fred VanVleet added 16, and OG Anunoby and Gary Trent each contributed 14.

But in the end, the combined effort simply would not be good enough to prevent the Raptors from dropping to 4-1 on the road.

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A Game Given Away

A key takeaway from Wednesday’s game is unfortunately just how willing the Raptors had been to simply hand the win on a platter to the Celtics.

But while undoubtedly a frustrating loss for Toronto, Boston played a much-improved game than they did during their first matchup. Still, it’s one thing to lose a game fought for until the very bitter end, but quite another to forfeit a win because of an obvious lack of effort.

The Raptors will now want to re-think what exactly drove their five-game win streak. While they’ve consistently owned the offensive battle on the rebound, Wednesday saw them doing the precise opposite.

The Celtics picked it up on Wednesday by attempting a whopping 17 more field goals than Toronto, which practically made the entire difference between winning and losing.

Mistakes Abound For Raptors

Probably the most regrettable thing about Wednesday night’s game is the fact that the mistakes made by the Raptors weren’t due to special circumstances or injuries – or even plain bad luck, for that matter – but rather the result of several (experienced) players reading the game completely wrong.

Once such failure to read had been Chris Boucher’s 88-second cameo towards the end of the third quarter of the game. In a matter of just a little under two minutes, Boucher managed to air-ball three points, make disastrously bad work of a double dribble, and play his way to a couple of shot fakes.

And then, of course, there was a non-performing Pascal Siakam, who is very clearly still battling to find a way to reintegrate himself back into the team. Evidence of this is how Siakam twice found himself in the air and looking hard for a kick-out pass – but with nobody open to support him.

It seems Nick Nurse and the Raptors have some thinking to do.

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