Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Eastern Conference, NBA, Playoffs Stephen A. & Max react to Celtics vs. Raptors Game 1 | First Take
Getting into foul trouble early, certainly didn’t help boston on fire from three making 17 triples. As a team, the celtics now leading the series, as you just heard one nothing max talk to me. Do you think boston showed that they’re the team to beat in the east no, but there they did show that they’re going to be tough for toronto to beat. I think, especially if they keep getting their shooters good, looks and ciacom is unable to carry the load as the primary guy um. It may not be a great matchup for toronto. I still like toronto to win the series. I think they’re, especially with that hayward they’ve been better and they’re a little deeper and and they have the playoff experience many of the players from last year. So i still like them to beat this to win the series, but if i thought it was in six, i guess i think it’s in seven now i don’t think the celtics, without hayward have shown that they are the team to beat in the east um, because Really, what makes them special, i think, possibly i thought with hayward. Maybe they could win a championship now. In fact, i was on boston, radio, making people happy with that. Take uh several weeks ago, like yes, they’re what’s the limit for the celtics. I think if things fall right, it’s not impossible that they win a championship this year, once hayward goes down, you know, are they with kemba who, by the way, we got to see if he’s, healthy, now and and uh tatum and jaylen brown and hayward? Who has four starters in their starting five like that? Who who can do those things offensively like those four guys, that’s a lot? But when you take one away, there’s, no one guy there who i say right now: that’s the best player on a championship team or even a team to get to the championship unless tatum can elevate.
You know right now, as we’re seeing jamal murray and donovan mitchell. Do like right before our eyes. Otherwise i think because of the depth of toronto um, never mind whoever wins, bucks and heat uh that the celtics i wouldn’t rank as the number one team in the east. I wouldn’t rank them as number one either, but i will tell you this. I do believe that jason tatum can be the best player on the championship team. I think he’s got superstar written all over him and i don’t, i don’t see anything that jamal murray and donovan mitchell is doing that. He can’t do yes, he can do that. He just didn’t have to particularly in game one against toronto or, if you recall, there’s, six guys for the boston celtics that scored in double figures, three of them shot over 50 percent from the field and tayden marcus, smart and kemba walker, kemba walker and marcus. Smart combined to shoot nine of 16 from three point range. Meanwhile, toronto couldn’t hit the back side of a barn. They shot 10 40 from three point range. They ended up, shooting porridge throughout the afternoon. Pascal siakam was neutralized, so was kyle lowry to a lesser degree, and i think defensively. They have problems with boston more than they would against most teams and here’s. Why? Because boston’s not even trying to attack you on the on the interior, they can hit you from the perimeter and, more importantly, they can hit contested perimeter shots if you watch toronto on that amoeba like defense, that nick nurse has them playing from time to time.
Switching from a 2 2 uh, you know a 2 1 2 to a 2 3 zone to man to man or a boxing one, depending on which possession that they have uh, that they’re going that they’re faced against these guys. Are you know they get out on shooters? They transition to the ball really quickly to perimeter, shooters, etc, etc. Boston is one of the rare teams that does not seem to care it doesn’t matter, whether you’re on them or not. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in their face facing contesting them. When they get going from the perimeter they can roll with anybody and that’s. Where toronto has a problem. Toronto beats you by committee: one night is ciaco another night, it’s larry another night, it’s vanvleed, or somebody like that and their collection of defense with a baka and gazal on the interior and the way kyle lowry draws offensive, fouls and and and uh what’s. His name van vliet deflects passes well think about this if you’re knocking them down from the perimeter. What offensive fouls are there for kyle lowry to draw okay? What defense is there in the that matters in the interior, where they’re back in the saw? How does that affect you pulling up from three or even from 17 feet away from the basket that’s the problem that boston poses for toronto and they’re going to have to figure it out? If they’re going to win this series, i got it as a pick up.
I understand that now, certainly after game, one, the bottom line is you’re right about the celtics defense it was dominant and then and then you know, on the other end of the floor, toronto’s got to do something about not leaving shooters open in the corner. I mean that’s they’re getting killed there, so so those are major adjustments. Toronto has to make but um, as you mentioned, they’re coached by a guy who has made major adjustments in the past on the way to a title as recently as oh yeah last year. Now they don’t have kawhi anymore, and that makes a big difference because siakam as a robin was totally excellent last year as batman, not as much um and but i do think steven a you just mentioned when you were going over toronto’s roster, saying it’s, not one Or two guys, you’re right, they’re, very deep and generally well coached, even if, as it turns out boston, it presents a difficult match up for them. Styles, wise but they’re deep, they’re, well coached, and they have enough guys where in any given game that can be the guy that kills you that i still like the raptors, but i i have to admit um it’s. If the raptors are going to do it, it doesn’t look like they’re going to do it in under sevens. It looks like they really have their work cut out for them yeah.