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Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics preview, predictions and picks

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Raptors will be missing Pascal Siakam against the Celtics

On Saturday, October 9, 2021, the Toronto Raptors are locking horns with the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. The Raptors are 1-1 into their preseason campaign while the Celtics edged the Orlando Magic, 98-97, in their first exhibition match of the year. BetOnline odds are shown below.

Game information

Start Time: 7:00 P.M US EST

Location: TD Garden

Channels: WRKO, TSN2, NBA TV, NBA League Pass

Radio Broadcast: WBZ-FM /98.5

Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics team news

At this stage, the Toronto Raptors are searching for the right combination of personnel on the floor. The Raptors’ top pick in this year’s draft, Scottie Barnes, looked terrific in limited minutes, chipping in 8 points on 3-for-7 shooting with three rebounds and five assists against the Sixers. Still, Barnes isn’t the only rookie deserving of quality minutes. According to Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca, Dalano Banton and Justin Champagnie are getting closer looks from the coaching staff at the one and three positions.

As for the Celtics, it feels odd not to see Brad Stevens barking out plays on the sideline. Then again, the former C’s coach and now team president of basketball operators said he doesn’t miss the daily grind of being the head coach, as reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of Full Court Press.

 

 

Injury Report

The Raptors will still be missing the service of star forward Pascal Siakam, who is nursing a nagging shoulder injury. Chris Boucher, Khem Birch, and Yuta Watanabe are attending some injuries and listed questionable in the game vs. the Celtics. On the other side, the Celtics put Juwan Morgan under the questionable column for an undisclosed reason.

Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics betting lines

 

Over/Under: 218.0

Point Spread: -3.5 Celtics (-110)

Best Moneyline: Raptors +145, Celtics -165

Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics preview

The Toronto Raptors are finally back home after grinding out the entirety of the 2020-21 season away from Scotiabank Arena. Last year, they played all their home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, making it technically a home away from home.

After finishing last in the Atlantic Division with a 27-45 record, the Raptors found themselves in the middle of transition after losing Kawhi Leonard in 2019 free agency and Kyle Lowry last summer. Now that the top performers of their 2019 championship run are gone, Toronto will be relying on mainstays like Fred Van Vleet and Pascal Siakam to carry much of the scoring load.

Speaking of transition, the Celtics are still adjusting to a setup without Brad Stevens, who relinquished his coaching duties for the highest position in the team’s front office. After missing the service of Jaylen Brown, the All-Star forward will be returning to provide firepower alongside budding superstar Jayson Tatum. Together, the two versatile wingmen form a 1-2 combination for the Celtics, along with an ensemble of gritty veterans and bouncy youngsters.

Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics prediction

The Raptors and Celtics met three times last season, and unsurprisingly, Boston dominated the regular-season series by an average lead margin of 11.3 points. Boston just had too much talent on their roster, while Toronto struggled to score the ball at times, with Siakam turning into a shell of his former self a year after making it in his first All-Star game as a starter. If this were the regular season, one would not spend longer than two seconds to pick the Celtics to win. However, the preseason fixture presents an entirely different situation for both teams. They are still in the process of building chemistry and experimenting with plays. The stars are playing that much compared to the minutes they usually logged in high-stakes basketball. Given that the Raptors are a team hungry for recognition, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they won this one.

Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics betting pick

Pick the Raptors to win on the road; the combined points will go over the o/u total of 218 points. Raptors are 3.5 points underdog on BetOnline.com.

 

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