The Toronto Raptors may have caught the rival Boston Celtics on the back end of a back-to-back, but Darko Rajakovic is not in a position to look down on what has become a defensive juggernaut. Even with Gary Trent Jr. sitting this game out due to a foot injury, Scottie Barnes and the Raptors would have their hands full here.
After blowing out Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks just a few days before a dominant road victory in Dallas against the Mavericks, the Raptors have once again continued to give some of the best teams in the league some headaches. Boston, however, seemed to have no trouble pulling away from their division rivals.
The Celtics pummeled Toronto into the dirt thanks to a 117-94 scoreline. The Raptors shot just 38% from the field and 27% from 3-point range. Barnes had the worst game of his impressive year by a mile, and Pascal Siakam looked nothing like the star who helped lead Toronto to a win vs. Dallas.
Some might not like to make sweeping judgments based on the first few games of the year. However, the shocking difference in talent, preparation, and execution between the two teams goes to show just how far away this core is from ever being taken seriously as a team with eyes on a championship.
Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors were humiliated by the Boston Celtics.
Boston is a tough matchup for anyone, but the Raptors, in particular, will have a tough time. Barnes and Siakam were unable to throw their weight around in the paint thanks to Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis, leaving a poor-shooting team to snipe from 3-point range unsuccessfully.
With Trent sitting out, a lackluster bench could not do much of anything despite playing a rotation that features just eight players who suited up 24 hours earlier in a win against the Nets. Once the usually rock-solid defense broke down, Toronto’s chances of victory evaporated into nothingness.
Losing to Boston isn’t cause for alarm. However, looking non-competitive, getting outcoached on both ends, and struggling in what are supposed to be areas of strength should set off some alarm bells. If Masai Ujiri wants to keep this team together, nights like Saturday simply can’t happen anymore.
A strong coach who has command of the locker room will be able to learn from this night and make improvements, while a cohesive roster will take it on the chin and get back to their winning ways without letting the loss linger. Fans will find out exactly what kind of guys they have after this humiliation.