After years of anticipation and multiple unforeseen delays, the Raptors-Celtics series that fans have dreamt of is finally coming to fruition. Before we look into this afternoon’s Game 1, however, it remains vital to remember that police brutality and racial injustice still run rampant across North America. If you haven’t already
(or if you feel inclined to do so again), please consider supporting Jacob Blake’s family by donating to his mother’s fundraiser, as well as reaching out to your local government official to push for change in police accountability and defunding. ExpressVPN
Okay, let’s talk about basketball. Both the Celtics and Raptors swept their first round series with confidence against injury-ridden teams. Now, the challenge really begins. For some context, both teams are known to be defensive powerhouses — Toronto finished second in defensive rating this season.
while Boston finished fourth. On the offensive end however, the Celtics were the league’s fourth most efficient team, while the Raptors were just 14th.he Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors were scheduled to start their Eastern Conference Semifinals series on Friday but that
meeting was delayed due to what can best be described as 2020-related reasons. In the midst ongoing protests and civil unrest across the country, there were even questions about whether the NBA playoffs would or should even continue.
Eventually, the players came to an agreement to continue playing which means that Boston and Toronto will finally begin what promises to be a competitive postseason series between two teams that are in a better position than most would have expected this time last year.
Now, it might seem weird to consider the Raptors as underdogs considering that their season began with a ring ceremony. Still, this is one of the most surreal defending champions in recent basketball history.
It’s not just the fact that the 2019 Finals feel like they could have happened decades ago, the extended pandemic-related hiatus has essentially made a mockery of the concept of linear time, there’s also the crucial detail that those Raptors had Kawhi Leonard. With the league’s best two-way player now with the Los Angeles Clippers, there was an understandable belief that Toronto would not be a serious championship contender.
Instead, Toronto didn’t miss a beat. Thanks in part to Pascal Siakam’s campaign to become the first person to ever win the Most Improved Player award in back-to-back years, the Raptors ended the season with a 53-19 record, just 2.5 games behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Clippers, by contrast, ended up 49-23, although Leonard would remind you that the West remains somewhat more competitive than the East. They are currently up 3-2 on the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.