Match: Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
Pre-season records: Raptors (1-1), Celtics (1-0)
Where to look
Date: Saturday, October 9th
Time: 19.00 ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Raptors vs Celtics game preview
After a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, Toronto looks set to continue the process of fine-tuning, which is what the preseason is all about. The Raptors will take the floor for the third game in a five-game run Saturday night as they head to Beantown to take on the Celtics, who are back in action following a win over the Orlando Magic on Monday.
We have covered you with a few things you need to keep an eye on.
Fresh faces in the rotation
Through two preseason games, the Raptors have relied on multiple rotation players to log more than 15 minutes per game. Competition, from basic posts in OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet to newcomers like Precious Achiuwa, Scottie Barnes, Goran Dragic and Svi Mykhailiuk.
That said, there has not been much free time for e.g. Isaac Bonga, Sam Dekker, David Johnson, Reggie Perry or Ish Wainright. Per Sports Illustrated’s Aaron Rose , head coach Nick Nurse said “you want to see [Dekker] finally “after Thursday’s match in Philadelphia, which is a statement that can probably be applied to the others who have seen limited time.
Save for Johnson, who is on a two-way contract, each of the aforementioned names is fighting for one of the Raptors’ last roster on non-guaranteed trades. The best way to evaluate these players is by watching them compete against NBA talent, which means the nurse is likely to use these last three games for an assessment of the guys who have not played much yet.
Justin Champagnie’s efforts
It looks like the Raptors have found yet another crafted diamond.
Through two preseason games, the 6-6 rookie has an average of 13.5 points to go along with a team-high 8.0 rebounds. After the pre-season opened, the nurse said “it will be hard to keep up [Champagnie] the rotation out, ” according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic . It’s a big role for any rookie, let alone one on a two way contract.
As a two-way player, Champagnie will be limited to 50 games on Toronto’s active squad, but if he keeps this up, he may find himself being converted to a standard contract rather than later. Keep an eye on the 20-year-old as he continues to outcompete his deal.
A known enemy
Boston and Toronto know each other well.
The enemies of the Atlantic Division met for an epic series of seven games in the bubble just over a year ago and met three times during the 2020-21 season. Saturday night is the 11th time these two teams have met each other in just over 12 months and four meetings are to come this season.
As well-known as they are, much has changed as the Raptors and Celtics each come from transforming offseasons. Although Jaylen Brown will be out (health and safety protocols), this meeting will unofficially usher in a new era of rivalry. Toronto may become familiar with Boston’s new additions to Juancho Hernangomez, Josh Richardson and Dennis Schröder, not to mention veteran big man Al Horford, who has re-entered the conversation after brief spells in Philadelphia and Oklahoma City.
It’s never too early to get an idea of what a rival has in store, especially under a new head coach at Ime Udoka.
Raptors vs. Celtics injury report
(From kl. 20:30 ET Friday, October 8th)
|Team||Player name||Current status||Reason|
|Boston Celtics||Jaylen Brown||Out||Health and safety protocols|
|Toronto Raptors||Khem Birch||Out||Health and safety protocols|
|Chris Boucher||Out||Injury / disease – left finger; Dislocation – middle|
|Pascal Siakam||Out||Injury / disease – left shoulder; Surgery – rehabilitation|
|Yuta Watanabe||Out||Injury / disease – Left calf; Tribe|
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