The Toronto Raptors look to avoid a 3-0 deficit against the Boston Celtics
Thursday night, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals will take place between the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors. Having lost games 1 and 2, the defending champion Toronto Raptors look to keep from going down 3-0.
There are several adjustments the Raptors can and will have to make to overcome their current situation.
On Tuesday, the Raptors put up a good fight against the Celtics, losing by just a 3-point bucket. Late-game heroics from Marcus Smart (who finished the game with 19 points) propelled the Cs to a victory.
OG Anunoby was excellent on the offensive end in Game 2. Normally his efforts are most noticeable on the defensive end, and the Raptors couldn’t take advantage of his suddenly-found shooting to come out with a win.
Poor shooting from distance was the biggest mark for the Raptors in Game 2, as they converted on just 27.5 percent of their 3-point attempts. Fred VanVleet went 3-of-12 from beyond the arc and Kyle Lowry went 0-for-7. This has plagued the Raptors in both games of this series so far, and overcoming the Celtics’ tough perimeter defense will be crucial.
To make matters worse on Tuesday, the Raptors were without Marc Gasol for the final minutes of the game after he fouled out.
Containing the many offensive options the Cs starting lineup has is a difficult task. Any combination of Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, or Marcus Smart could score 20-plus points on any given night.
The place Toronto has a major advantage is with size and rim protection. The Celtics have relied on Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III so far in this series, the latter having an explosive start to Game 2. Williams finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds.
While Theis doesn’t have much impact in the box score directly, he’s a strong screen-setter and great at sealing away lanes for the scorers on Boston’s roster. Still, when Toronto has a size advantage, they should take advantage of it. If they can get Theis or Williams in foul trouble early, it would force the Celtics to go to their bench and go small or give Enes Kanter playing time.
Start time and how to watch: How to stream Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics Game 3
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series between the Raptors and Celtics tips off at 6:30 PM ET, and will be nationally televised on TNT.
Those looking to stream the game can do so with an authorized television login on the Watch TNT app, available on the app store.
FanSided commentary and analysis stream can be found below throughout the game, hosted by Mark Carman and Nick Henkel. Tune into the game, throw it on mute, and watch with us!
It’s a must-win for the defending champions, and in turn, a must-watch for Raptors fans everywhere.