The Toronto Raptors suffered a brutal loss to an impressive Boston Celtics team on Christmas Day. How did everyone grade in the defeat?
For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors participated in the Christmas Day proceedings. Was it worth the wait? Probably not, no. The Raptors hosted in the Boston Celtics in the first game of the day and to say that they participated in the game is probably a huge overstatement.
Festive cheer was absent in the Scotiabank Arena, even after the Toronto Raptors started with a 10-0 run to start the game. Still, without Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell, and Marc Gasol, the hot start from the Toronto Raptors seemed sustainable, even if the past few games had raised question marks about the efficiency of the offense with the three missing stars.
However, the remaining ten minutes first quarter shaped up the rest of the game pretty nicely, as the Celtics proceeded to go on a 28-9 run and the Toronto Raptors offense began to stagnate and Enes Kanter and Jayson Tatum took advantage of some weak defensive efforts on the glass.
Throughout the game, it was the Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker show. Brown finished with a game-high 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting and Walker killed the Raptors from above the break, knocking down 5-of-7 from deep for 22 points.
The Raptors were hoping for another Dallas-type comeback after falling down 22 points but like the previous game against the Indiana Pacers, the comeback would fall short. But, unlike the Pacers game, the Raptors wouldn’t pull their way back into the game. The Celtics were effective in their game plan and shot 42-percent from deep, and put up 118 points without getting to the line frequently.
A concerning factor of the Raptors season so far has been their ability to match up with top-level opponents, and the Celtics have proved to be one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference. Christmas Day isn’t ruined, but it’s ever so slightly tainted. Is that what all the fuss was about?