Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris made their return last night as the Celtics headed to Toronto to take on the Raptors. After a four-game win streak, (3-0 without Irving) the Cs fell 111-91. Peculiar, considering they won the first match up 95-94 without Irving. Anyway, the Celtics are now 39-16, only one game ahead of the Raptors.
Raptors Put on a Show
Toronto was absolutely electric. Kyle Lowry had 23 points, while C.J. Miles had 20 of his own off the bench. Both were a combined 11-18 from behind the arc, contributing to their team’s overall 47% three-point shooting. DeMar DeRozan added 15 points of his own and six assists. Shots were falling for the Raptors ALL night, no matter who had the ball. Didn’t see the game? Well, all you have to know is their bench put up 59 points— that’s more than 50% of the team’s point total for the game. Apparently, Brad Stevens praised this second unit before the match up. I wonder if he still feels the same way.
The Celtics Looked a Bit… Stale
On the other hand, the Celtics just didn’t play that well. The defense wasn’t up to par, giving up points left and right. But the offense looked equally unimpressive. Horford and Tatum combined for 6 points, going 3-14 from the floor and 0-3 from three. Irving and Brown were the only starters with double digits, while the bench contributed 51 points. When you look at the team stats, this really should have been a close game. Unfortunately, the Cs just couldn’t make any defensive plays and they couldn’t score consistently. The Raptors were just more efficient.
Preview of Eastern Conference Finals?
With the Celtics and the Raptors being the top two teams in the east, there is definitely a chance we’ll see them in the eastern final. But with the way the Raptors are playing, we could possibly see a #1 seed takeover. This means they would get home court advantage in the series. Now that should make everyone in Boston uncomfortable, considering the Raptors have lost only two games at home so far this season. Hopefully, with the addition of Greg Monroe or whatever else they are trying to do before the trade deadline, they will put up a fight. I guess the idea of Tyreke Evans adding depth to the bench isn’t so bad after all.
UPDATE via Adrian Wojnarowski @ 1;14 PM: Lou Williams getting three-year deal with Clippers.