Boston Celtics Gameday: 3 keys to beating Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors

Boston Celtics Marcus Smart (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Marcus Smart (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Get off to a good start

The Boston Celtics actually got off to a good start in their first matchup against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.  They competed in that game until midway through the fourth quarter when Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry took over the game.

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In this game, they must come out with that same energy and maintain it.  Kyrie Irving has to back up his words and put forth a All-Star performance coming out the gate as do the entire starting lineup no matter who Brad Stevens throws out there.

With the addition of Marc Gasol, the Raptors will have a different look as Gasol is capable of stretching the floor and has a history of killing the Celtics.  Matching Toronto’s intensity and playing the defensive basketball Boston is capable of will be crucial.

With that being said, Al Horford will be an X-factor in this game.  He has to come out and play the kind of basketball offensively and defensively that he played the last two games coming off the All-Star break.  With the athleticism and length the Raptors have along the front court, the Boston Celtics as a team have to be physical and active around the glass.

It’s simple, if they lose the rebounding battle in this one, it will be very tough for them to win this game.