Toronto Raptors second round preview: Breaking down matchup vs. Celtics

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Toronto Raptors

Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

After recording the first playoff series sweep in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors turn their attentions to the Boston Celtics.

Apparently the Toronto Raptors’ first round series against the Brooklyn Nets was sponsored by Staples, because, well, that was easy.

The Raptors manhandled the Nets in Game 1, weathered their best shot in Game 2, and beat up upon a severely depleted Brooklyn roster in Games 3 and 4.

Now, things are about to get a whole lot more interesting, as the number three seeded Boston Celtics are next on the docket. Let’s go over how the Raptors stack up against the C’s:

Notable absences

The Raptors came very close to getting through the Nets series unscathed, but in Game 4, disaster struck. On his way down the floor, Kyle Lowry stepped on the foot of Chris Chiozza, and a part of his ankle that should never touch the ground did just that.

Lowry limped off the court and did not return. A timetable for his return had not yet been made available at the time of posting this article.

The Celtics also had a player go down with an ankle injury in the first round. In the midst of battling for a rebound with Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid, Celtics shooting forward Gordon Hayward came down awkwardly on teammate Daniel Theis’ foot.

Hayward showed signs of immediate discomfort as he limped off the floor and went straight to the dressing room. Boston fans’ worst nightmares were soon confirmed, as the 30-year-old was diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain.

Hayward has left the bubble, but is expected to return once he’s all healed up. When he returns could be crucial for the Celtics’ chances of beating the Raptors and advancing to the third round.

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