Three takeaways from the Toronto Raptors beatdown of Boston Celtics

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After a competitive first quarter, the Toronto Raptors smacked the Boston Celtics. What did we learn from the dominating win?

Early on it appeared as if we might get a competitive game. The first quarter was a back and forth affair with the Boston Celtics taking a two-point lead after one. The rest of the game belonged to the Toronto Raptors.

Early in the second quarter, the Toronto Raptors went on a monster 18-0 run to take a 48-34 lead. The run, led by bench players Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, and Patrick McCaw, helped the Raptors gain control of the game. The starters helped secure it.

Toronto outscored Boston 36-23 in the second quarter and 29-23 in the third. By the time the fourth quarter started, the game was already over.

What did we learn in this absolute beatdown? Here are my three big takeaways.

1. It’s a make-or-miss league

The Raptors have shot the ball well below their capabilities all season. Last night they did not. Toronto went 17-36 from beyond the arc, hitting 47-percent of their three-point attempts.

Perhaps the most impressive part was the group effort the team experienced. 10 different players made at least one three and four different players knocked down multiple triples.

Still, the three-point story of the game is Pascal Siakam. Siakam finished 4-5 from beyond the arc, including a couple of contested shots he wouldn’t have even attempted earlier in the season. He still is relatively ineffective from beyond the break, but make no mistake, Pascal Siakam is a legitimate threat in the corner at this point in time.

The Boston Celtics…… were not quite as impressive. 6-30 from beyond the arc for a whopping 20-percent. Toronto can’t expect Boston to shoot this poorly each time out, but credit to the Raptors defense for defending the three-point line well.

2. Gasol’s non-scoring impact

Marc Gasol finished 2-6 from the field with five points. He had a couple of post-ups which opened up good looks that he just couldn’t seem to cash in. Despite a poor performance shooting the ball, Gasol created offense for others all night.

Boston continuously double-teamed Gasol in the post, allowing him to carve them up from the inside-out. He dished out eight assists and had seven more potential assists. He recorded the second most passes on the team, only behind Kyle Lowry, and was the hub of the offense whenever he was on the floor.

Marc Gasol can score the basketball, but his passing is just as important.

3. Are we sure the Celtics are contenders?

The East is typically discussed around with four real contenders. Are we sure the Boston Celtics still belong on that list?

They still have the top-tier talent to at least need to be mentioned, but it’s hard to picture beating anyone of consequence at this time. The team clearly dislikes one another, Gordon Hayward is a shell of the player we saw in Utah, and it feels as if Kyrie Irving has one foot out the door. You hate to see it.

With the Raptors almost certainly locked into the number two seed at this point, any matchup with Boston would have to be in the Eastern Conference Finals. Don’t expect to see that.

Next. Kyle Lowry is the NBA's most unconventional star. dark

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