The Toronto Raptors had a nice bounce-back game against the Boston Celtics, showing that they have the blueprint to come out the East.
Over the course of the season, the Toronto Raptors have had many performances that have shown their championship pedigree.
Looking back on their season sweep of the Golden State Warriors, those performances are probably near the top of the list. Considering all the chatter surrounding the team with Kawhi Leonard‘s health and whether they have enough chemistry to be successful, Tuesday night’s 118-95 win over the Boston Celtics should silence some of those concerns
Pascal Siakam continues to prove why he is a vital building block going forward and it doesn’t hurt to have Leonard either. To think the three-time All-Star put up 21 points in 25 minutes while adding four assists and six defensive rebounds, showed that Toronto has many components to their lineup that other teams have to respect.
Sure Leonard is going to receive most of the attention along with Kyle Lowry, but that usually leaves Siakam, Marc Gasol, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka in a position to take advantage. As long as they are able to convert on the chances they get, the Raptors will remain the team to beat in the East.
Based on the way the Celtics and even the Philadelphia 76ers have played this season, only two teams look like big hurdles for the Raptors. The Warriors, with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins, and the Milwaukee Bucks, who continues to lead the way in the NBA.
Give head coach Nick Nurse credit, he’s had to deal with some drama to start the season (Leonard’s future and DeMar DeRozan‘s messy divorce). Yet when this team needs to come away with a win against a top team, they’ve done an admirable job.
Now the question is whether they can pull it off in the playoffs? It should be less of a concern considering the addition of postseason performers in Leonard and Green.
Bringing in Gasol means the team doesn’t have to rely on Ibaka to carry the load and Nurse should be comfortable having them both as options late in games. This is a lineup built to win and the Celtics got a taste of that on Tuesday night; now they’ll need to prove it can translate to playoff success.
What did you think about the Raptors’ win over the Celtics? Does it give you confidence about their ability to come out of the East in the postseason? Let us know in the comments below.