The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are competing in one of the two Eastern Conference semifinal matchups. The Boston Celtics came away with a convincing 112-94 victory in Game 1 of the series.
Boston has now gone a perfect 5-0 so far in these playoffs after sweeping the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. The Celtics are the number 3 seed in the East, but they look like title contenders.
Toronto swept the Brooklyn Nets in their first-round playoff series, but they were not ready to compete in the series opener. The Raptors won the Atlantic Division this season, and they are the defending NBA champions.
The Toronto Raptors are slight 1.5-point favorites over the Boston Celtics in Game 2.
Celtics Defense Doing the Job
The Boston Celtics have been a solid defensive team all season long, but they have stepped up their game in the playoffs. Boston has yet to allow more than 106 points in any game, and they put together a great defensive effort in the series opener.
Boston allowed just 107.3 points per game during the regular season, and they have plenty of length and athleticism to bother the Toronto Raptors. Even playing without Gordon Hayward, this Celtics team has been great on that end of the floor.
The Celtics have three players averaging more than 20 points per game in the playoffs, but Jayson Tatum leads the team. The young forward is scoring more than 25 points per game and also leads the team in rebounding.
Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker have combined to score more than 43 points per contest, and they can both take over a game when needed. The Celtics are not as deep as they were a season ago, but they are extremely talented.
If the Celtics can put together a similar performance in the series opener, they could take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Raptors Need to Find Scoring
If the Toronto Raptors are going to climb back into this series, they will have to find a way to generate more offense. The Raptors averaged more than 112 points per game during the regular season, but they are facing a great defensive team.
The Raptors went just 10-40 from the three-point line in Game 1, and they will have to shoot the ball much better in this game. Kyle Lowry led the team with 17 points in the series opener, and he is about the only player that shot it well.
Pascal Siakam had just 13 points in the loss, and the Raptors need their star to come up big in this game.
Defense will also be a point of focus for the Raptors after letting the Celtics get too comfortable on offense in Game 1. The Raptors have been down this road before, and they know how to respond.
Toronto Picks Up Win in Game 2
These two teams are very evenly matched, and most experts believed that this series could go the distance. Even though the Celtics looked like the much better team in Game 1, Toronto will be ready to bounce back.
Expect another low-scoring game in this one as each team can really defend. This time around, it will be the Toronto Raptors that are able to find just enough offense to come away with the win.
Toronto is the reigning champion, and it’s always hard to knock them off. Look for the Raptors to put together a terrific performance on Tuesday to even up the series.
Bet the Toronto Raptors -1.5 over the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.