Raptors vs. Celtics NBA Picks
Will the Boston Celtics keep rolling when they host the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night?
Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
Saturday, December 28 at 7:00 PM ET, TD Garden
Celtics Dominate Raptors on Christmas Day
– Eduardo Solano
Jaylen Brown made five 3-pointers and shot 10 for 13 from the field, scoring 30 points to lead the Celtics to a 118-102 road win against the Raptors in the first Christmas Day NBA game played in Canada.
Kemba Walker had 22 points and four assists and Gordon Hayward scored 14 points in 26 minutes, as he returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a sore left foot.
Fred VanVleet stepped up for the Raptors with 27 points and Chris Boucher had a career-high 24 off the bench but Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka had quiet games, scoring just 14 and 12 points respectively. Shooting just 8-for-23 from beyond the arc also cost the Raptors and they turned the ball over 17 times.
The key to this game for the Celtics is to keep doing what they’re doing, they’ve won their last four games, including the visit to Toronto and everyone understands their role. The Raptors need VanVleet to have another big game and Lowry and Ibaka have to produce more, not just on offense. Can Lowry slow down Walker?
The Celtics will be playing in the second game of a back-to-back after hosting the Cavaliers on Friday night but they don’t have to travel and they’re playing extremely well right now.
Not having Pascal Siakam (plus-1.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Marc Gasol (plus-3.9 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) and Norman Powell (plus-0.9 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) has made it hard for the Raptors to stick around against some solid teams and that won’t change on Saturday.
“Scoring is not very easy for us right now,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said about missing Siakam, Gasol and Powell to injuries. “It’s tough.”
The Raptors have lost back-to-back games against the Pacers and Celtics and they overcame a 30-point deficit to beat the Mavericks 110-107. What concerns me about that impressive comeback win, the biggest in franchise history, is that the Mavs were without Luka Doncic (plus-11.0 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and the Raptors still fell behind by 30 points. I usually don’t bet moneylines but how can you pass on the Celtics at home here?
NBA Pick: Celtics Moneyline