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Wednesday, 17 April 2013 17:59

Game Preview: Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors

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-Boston Celtics (41-39, 14-26 on the road) @ Toronto Raptors (33-48, 20-20 at home) Air Canada Centre, 8:00 pm on CSNNE/WEEI Officials: Ed Malloy, Tony Brown, Scott Twardowski Line: Toronto -5.5 (194)  Get Tickets to Tonight’s Game at the Air Canada Centre

 

The Celtics visit Toronto for the final regular season game of the year; just game #81 for Boston after Tuesday's home contest with the Pacers was canceled due to Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.  The Celtics have won all 3 matchups with the Raptors so far this season, and are likely to rest most of their starters tonight with no playoff implications on the line.

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

 

Boston Celtics

PG: Avery Bradley SG: Courtney Lee SF: Jeff Green PF: Brandon Bass C: Chris Wilcox

 

Toronto Raptors

PG: Kyle Lowry SG: DeMar DeRozan SF: Rudy Gay PF: Amir Johnson C: Jonas Valanciunas

 

INJURIES

 

Paul Pierce, PROB (Illness)

Jason Terry, OUT (Coaches Decision) Rajon Rondo, OUT (Knee)

Jared Sullinger, OUT (Back)

 

Terrence Ross, DOUB (Ankle)

Andrea Bargnani, OUT (Elbow)

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Back to basketball: After two days of sports taking a backseat to tragedy, the Celtics will try to get things back to normal tonight. Who will play?: With this contest having no meaning whatsoever, it'll be interesting to see what lineups Doc Rivers chooses to use.  We may be in for the first Fab Melo sighting in some time. The first ever 81 game season: NBA games are postponed from time to time, but having one canceled is something new.  For the first time in league history the season will end with not every team having played the same amount of games.

NOTES

The Celtics have won 20 of their last 24 meetings with the Raptors. Boston rankings: Pace: 91.7 (16th), Off Rtg: 103.2 (24th), Def Rtg: 103.1 (6th) Toronto rankings: Pace: 90.4 (24th), Off Rtg: 105.7 (16th), Def Rtg: 107.7 (22nd) 

PREDICTION

 

Which team cares less?  For the Raptors it's the end of another long and ugly season.  Because of the canceled Indiana game I think Doc may give his key guys some playing time just to keep them fresh.  I'll take the Celtics bench being slightly more motivated than the Toronto starters just looking to pack it up and go home.

 

Boston Celtics 102, Toronto Raptors 91

 

 

Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan

 

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