Apr 13, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) and center Kevin Garnett (5) congratulate each other during the second half against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Boston Celtics won 120-88. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Boston Celtics (41-39) vs Toronto Raptors (33-48)

The Boston Celtics are the season’s final opponent for the resurgent-too-late Toronto Raptors. This game should be fraught with playoff implications, but isn’t, due to the Raps’ collapse last month. Boston should be on the second night of a back-to-back, but the nightmarish bombing at the Marathon meant their home game against  Indiana was cancelled. It’s difficult in the extreme to even guess what the Celtics’ mindset will be, or who will play for how long. So I’m foregoing my usual Keys To Victory format, and simply offering some things I’d like to see.

Apr 16, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Raptors shooting guard Terrence Ross (31) goes up for a dunk against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Raps’ excellent play lately has been triggered by the emerging two-headed scoring monster of DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay. If DeMar once again makes 3 of 6 threes, and Rudy gets his baskets efficiently, the monster will collect 45 points. Should that occur, the Raps will be in serious contention for the win.
  • If Jonas Valanciunas can put wax in his ears, so he can ignore the trash talking of Kevin Garnett, he should have a field day. I’d be surprised if Kevin played more than 20 minutes (the Celtics are locked into the #7 seed, so this game is about avoiding injuries for them), and JV can own the smallish Celtic front line.
  • Can Terrence Ross find his stroke from distance in the season’s final game? We can all hope so. While it’s great to see him getting out in transition for exciting and easy slams, we need his 3-ball shooting.
  • Qunicy Acy gets a double-double. He is going to be so much more than the second coming of Reggie Evans.

Apr 12, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Quincy Acy (4) gets a rebound against the Chicago Bulls at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Chicago 97-88. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been calling for Raps’ wins all year in this space. I’m not stopping now, particularly since the team has won 6 of their last 7. I think the Celtics will be in Toronto in body, but not in spirit. The Raps will ride their swingmen’s hot hands to a 100-85 victory.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.


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Tags: Boston Celtics Jonas Valanciunas NBA Toronto Raptors

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