Game Preview: Celtics at Raptors – Celtics.com
TORONTO – Two 20-point victories have the Boston Celtics sitting at 2-0 this preseason. They’ll look to continue their undefeated streak when they take on the Toronto Raptors at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
Boston opened up exhibition play with a blowout win over the Sixers on Monday and then followed that up with a domination of the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Each victory was impressive in its own right, but Brad Stevens sees plenty of opportunity to improve as the preseason continues.
“I think we need to continue to be more sound defensively,” Stevens said at Friday morning’s shootaround. “We’ve got a lot of little things we’ve got to improve on defensively. And then offensively I think it’s more about being more precise in our execution.”
The Celtics will certainly be challenged in both of those areas tonight, when they take on the defending Atlantic Division champions. Toronto burst onto the scene last season thanks to one of the league’s top defenses and an offense that was spearheaded by All-Star swingman DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan has been phenomenal thus far in exhibition play, scoring 22.0 points per game while making 51.6 percent of his field goals and 60.0 percent of his 3s. DeRozan is also coming off of a successful summer with team USA, which he helped lead to a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup.
Boston is likely to rely on Evan Turner to contain DeRozan tonight, seeing as Stevens told reporters that defensive aces Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart “probably won’t be on DeRozan.”
Turner has been a very good offensive player for the C’s during the team’s first two preseason contests. Tonight will be an opportunity for him to make a major contribution at the other end of the court as well.
The C’s will rely on Bradley and …read more