I mean, it was tough just watching them try to get their first bucket. They know the Bubble Warm-Up is over, right? They were flat and at no point did I feel like they could sustain any kind of a run. Really, they had more clunkers than a junkyard guarded by a Shih Tzu.
Meanwhile, the Celtics came out like a vicious pack of starved greyhounds. They moved the ball around like a windmill with arms and from the moment of Marcus Smart’s first rainbow 3, they attacked and dominated. It was as if the Raptors had only drawn up one game plan, because it felt and looked like they got beat multiple times by the same plays by the same guys off the same picks.
At one point near the end of the second quarter Toronto had missed 10 straight from the floor. Is Boston’s apparent defensive superiority going to be too much to overcome? When the “real season” shut down the Raptors had a 5 game lead over the Celts.
Where did that team go?
Kyle Lowry, who was questionable with an ankle sprain, is not an available excuse. He led the Raptors with 17 points playing 35 minutes. Can anyone deal with a Boston team that showcases 4 guys that scored 20 plus before the season shut down, even with one of the four out with an injury?
Toronto looks unable to figure it out.
What’s that now infamous Rick Pitino rant? Something like, “Hey! Larry Bird is not walking through that door.” Did anyone happen to see Jayson ‘”Bird” Tatum bury an off balance fade-away 3 pointer as the buzzer blazed and the ball found only net – from Larry’s corner! So sorry Toronto, Jayson Tatum has the key to that door. He’s gonna keep walking through it. Call a locksmith? Good luck with that.
It’s not just Tatum. It’s going to take brute force and a well functioning defensive strategy. An exhausting commitment every trip down the floor because the twin gazelles, Tatum and Jaylen Brown, are just kids; and these kids can shoot. In fact, these kids have several guys that can set them up and feed them the ball.
If you feed kids, they grow.
So if that’s all the Raptors got in the tank. They’re gonna tank!
Game 1: Boston 112 Toronto 94 – Game 2 Today at 5:40 PM est ESPN