Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Raptors Coffee Break: 3 steps to beating the Celtics

posted by Mike Masaya

With all the news surrounding the Raptors acquisition of Rudy Gay resulting in the loss of Jose Calderon and Ed Davis; to the Celtics drama filled ‘falling from grace’ type headlines, an injured Rondo and trade rumors surrounding Pierce and Garnett, both teams will have a lot on their mind during tonights game. As if that weren’t enough the 76ers and Pistons are making it harder for the Celtics to stay in playoff contention and making it tough for the Raptors to get there.

First thing the Raptors have to do is finish the month of February strong starting with a win against the Boston Celtics tonight. With the Celtics, 76ers and Pistons all having tough schedules for the month of February the Raptors need to win in what has historically been a standard loss to Boston.

Here are 3 points that could turn a losing trend on its head and allow tonight’s matchup to end in a win for the Raptors.

1. Attack of the Guards: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to push the tempo against Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee after tip-off and never let up. Whether Lowry is driving and kicking it out to Gay or running a pick and roll with Amir the Raptors game plan should be focused on keeping the Celtics guards back peddling. DeMar has emerged as premier one on one player and neither Courtney Lee or Jason Terry can guard him. Barbosa will do his part from the bench for the Celtics but will have trouble dealing with the Energizer Bunnies Lucas III and Terrence Ross should they get significant time.

2. Pass the Rock: The Raptors played their most impressive and unselfish basketball this season when they fell into a great habit of making the extra pass. With the Raptors current line up, new addition Rudy Gay and if Bargnani suits up at least 80% they will be a major threat both inside and outside the paint even more than they usually are.

3. Get to the Line: It’s no secret tonight's matchup will be labelled as a ‘grind it out’ type of game since there is a good chance neither team will score 100 points. That being said, Lowry, DeMar and Ross will hopefully lead the charge to the basket picking up free throw attempts along the way. This is connected to point number one where driving to the basket and keeping the the Celtics guards on their heels could make all the difference.

Photo via CP24

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