Start time: 7:30 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Rasual Butler, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson
Boston: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal
Toronto: According to @Eric__Smith: “Casey hopes to have Gray back tonight. J.Johnson will play. No go for Bayless/Bargnani. MAY see a change to starting lineup.”
Boston: Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox are out.
Both teams are in the midst of five-game losing streaks, but that’s only a surprise for one of these teams. While it might be too soon to completely bury the Celtics’ “Big Three”, their championship window has been slammed shut and had bars installed in front of it. It’s not just one thing the Celtics are doing poorly — they’re 20th in the league in both Offensive and Defensive Efficiency.
You know what? My heart’s not really in this one. I’m crushed that Rob Lowe didn’t actually break the news of Peyton Manning retiring. That would have made my week. But here’s my consolation: the game preview over on CelticsBlog includes detailed breakdowns of the referees for this game.
For some of you, your initial response to this might be admiration at the dedication this blogger puts into analyzing every possible detail of this game. But if you know Celtics fans like I do, you know that the real reason for this analysis is that, more than any other fan base, Celtics fans are convinced that most officials are out to screw them over. By pointing out that Derrick Stafford “worked for the US Postal Service for 10 years, which may explain his quick trigger when it comes to technical fouls,” Celtics fans have ready ammunition for cries of persecution when Garnett gets T’d up for his fugazi tough guy act.
Anyway, this is an almost certain loss for the Raptors. It’s never fun to lose to the Celtics, but most of us will be OK with it tonight as long as Garnett keeps his “Mr. Intensity” act toned down. Hey, K.G.: It’s not working anymore. Give it a rest.
- Biggest change to the Raptors from last season that I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere: their Pace Factor (estimated number of possessions per 48 minutes), which finished 10th in the league last season and is 28th so far this season.
- Right on schedule, people are starting to blame injuries on the shortened, compressed schedule.
- You’ve probably already watched this (multiple times) unless you weren’t on the Internet yesterday, but here’s the latest morsel of inspired brilliance from the fine bros of The Basketball Jones: