Boston Celtics (0-0, 0-0 away) at Toronto Raptors (0-0, 0-0 home)
Air Canada Centre at 7:00 pm on CSNNE
Officials: Tony Brothers, Steve Anderson, Leroy Richardson
Line: Toronto -8 (190)
Opening night is finally here, with the Celtics kicking off the Brad Stevens era on the road against the Raptors. Unfortunately for the men in green the local sports spotlight this evening will be stolen by the Red Sox, who look to clinch their third World Series title in nine years.
PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Courtney Lee
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kris Humphries
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Jonas Valanciunas
Gerald Wallace, PROB (Foot)
Vitor Faverani, PROB (Back)
Keith Bogans, QUES (Thumb)
Jared Sullinger, OUT (Suspension)
Rajon Rondo, OUT (Knee)
Steve Novak, PROB (Thumb)
Kyle Lowry, QUES (Finger)
WHAT TO WATCH FORWho will start?: Brad Stevens has stayed fairly mum about who will take the floor for the opening tip. Gerald Wallace may have been the club's best player during the preseason, and Vitor Faverani showed enough to possibly even get the nod at center. Or could we see a surprise start from rookie (and Toronto native) Kelly Olynyk? Can Jeff Green take charge?: With Rajon Rondo out, Green looks to be the guy expected to lead the offense. During the exhibition season it didn't happen; will the aggressive scorer we saw glimpses of last year emerge now that the games count? Revenge already?: The Raptors are under the impression they are now a club to be reckoned with. Last week during a club pep rally their CEO went out of his way to mock Boston for their poor preseason record. If the C's need a little extra motivation, that could be it.
NOTESJared Sullinger was suspended 1 game by the Celtics organization for conduct related to domestic assault charges, which have now been dropped. These two teams met twice during the preseason, with the Raptors winning on both occasions; 97-89 in Boston on October 7, and 99-97 in Toronto on October 16.
Coming off a 6-1 exhibition season, I think Toronto may be a little over-confident heading into this game. The Celtics will be out to prove they aren't as bad as everyone thinks they are, and Brad Stevens wants to show the world he knows what he's doing, and that the C's have no intentions of tanking. I'm expecting a very solid effort from Boston tonight, particularly on the defensive end. In Rick Pitino's first game as the Celtics head coach (10/31/97) he led them to a 92-85 upset of Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. I'll take that same score again tonight.
Boston Celtics 92, Toronto Raptors 85
Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan
Tune into the Celtics Post Game Show
Immediately following the game: