The Toronto Raptors now find themselves in a tough position after losing Game 5 to the Boston Celtics and will need a solution to their offensive woes.
Through five games in this second-round series, the Toronto Raptors have learned that if they’re not able to trade punches with the Boston Celtics early, they are in for a rough night.
Scoring 11 points in the first quarter while allowing six turnovers is inexcusable considering the fight the team had to even up the series at 2-2. Now the Celtics have the momentum with a chance to eliminate the defending champions.
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Not only was the Raptors offence exposed by a strong defensive effort but they had no answer for Boston’s offensive push either. Trailing 62-35 going into half is too much for any team to overcome considering no team has been able to come back from a 27-point deficit in NBA playoff history according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.
Once in a while, you expect a team to have a tough performance and need to find ways to grind out a win, but that’s not what happened here. Just like in Game 1, Boston made Toronto look like a team that didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs.
Pascal Siakam went 5-for-9 from the field and only had 10 points in this game while OG Anunoby struggled with seven points and only Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet contributing more than 15 points. For Toronto to not have a scorer with 20 points or more just showed what went wrong in this game.
Head coach Nick Nurse will be tasked with finding a quick turnaround with Game 6 on Wednesday. You can bet that one thing will be trying to get more out of Siakam who has not looked like himself since the NBA restart.
“I’m not sure why he’s been so out of rhythm since the restart,” Nurse told TSN’s Josh Lewenberg.
“He hasn’t had a lot of great games… It’s too bad because he was spectacular in last year’s playoffs & he was spectacular all season long. We still have games to go. Hopefully, he can get his rhythm.”
When you look at how the Raptors top players have stacked up against the Celtics, it’s no secret that Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker have outperformed Siakam, VanVleet and Kyle Lowry for the most part.
One issue has been the Raptors getting in foul trouble early which changes their defensive approach and seeing the starters on the bench earlier. If they aren’t able to have a bounce-back Game 6, it’s going to be tough to see the defending champions stay alive.
What do you think went wrong for the Raptors in Game 5? What do they need to do to turn things around? Let us know in the comments below.