Seems like an interesting position we have found ourselves in once again. A winnable game in Charlotte turns into an ugly Raptor whipping at the hands of Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace. Back to back games can be rough but losing the Charlotte game will make the game in Boston mean a lot more. The powerhouse Celtics could stampede over us because we have been non-existent in parts of road games(Denver, Utah, Memphis come to mind) this year going 2-7. Boston has the defense to stop us.
Just like Charlotte, Boston is at the top of the defensive world in the NBA. One thing I'm certain of is the Celtics had some trouble covering Turk last year in the playoffs and we could see Turk being a factor in the game tomorrow. Boston is no push over on offense either. These guys can score and push the action but they sure like to control the tempo. It will be yet another tough assignment for DeRozan as he'll be chasing the sharp shooting Ray Allen around. I'd like to think Bargnani could have a big game against Perkins. That is an exploitable match up which would leave Boston having to counter and switch up. Yet Bargnani is prone to disappear against physically imposing teams.
Would you not think a win in Boston would heal the wounds of Charlotte? It would be an impressive road win and it's perfectly doable. We are competitive against Boston on most nights and with a revamped line-up it could be a stellar game.
Antoine Wright should be in this game early. We don't want Ray Allen getting hot because he's burned us before. He just plays great against the Raptors partly due to the lack of talented wings we've had in the past. So, Wright getting in there and doing his job is key. I'm not sure Belinelli will be as effective with his risky play. His style is suited for the uptempo and Boston knows how to slow it down.
Rajon Rondo 1 on 1 against Calderon is an ugly match up for us. Calderon needs to sag off of him and cut off the lanes. Nuff said.
Key Factors for the Raptors:
-Exploit Perkins inability to defend Bargnani.
-Keep things up tempo and don't let the Celtics dictate the pace.
-Keep Ray Allen quiet and don't let him go off on the stat sheet.
-Bait Rondo into shooting and keep his dribble penetration at bay
Cool Hand Luke