Game Preview: Raptors vs Celtics
Boston Celtics (1-0) @ Toronto Raptors (1-0)
When: Friday, October 19th, 8 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Leading into tonight:
Injury Report: Delon Wright is questionable with a left adductor strain and OG Anunoby is questionable with a right orbital contusion. Wright missed Wednesday’s home opener, while Anunoby left late after getting hit in the eye.
First one down: The Raptors come into Friday’s game fresh off a 116-104 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kawhi Leonard had a 24-point, 13-rebound double-double in his Raptors debut, while Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 27 points in the win. Leonard’s 24 points were the most in a Raptors debut since Donyell Marshall scored 27 points in his first game on Dec. 2, 2003.
Green for three: Danny Green also had a solid Raptors debut. Starting in the backcourt alongside Kyle Lowry, Green scored 15 points in 33 minutes, shooting 4-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-7 from beyond the arc while adding five rebounds two steals and two blocked shots. The Raptors connected on 14-of-33 three-pointers (42 percent), doubling Cleveland’s total of seven three-pointers on 19 attempts from deep.
Defence first: Though Danny Green was excited to get back on the court and said he loved getting to play in front of Raptors fans for the first time, scoring 15 points wasn’t his main focus. It’s the other end of the court where he wants to keep the majority of his attention. “The biggest thing for me is defence on the floor,” Green said. “Offence it doesn’t matter. I think we are decent, we are going to score. We have a lot of threats and a lot of talent. But defensively for me is where I want to improve and stay on top of my game.”
Eastern Conference life: Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have played the previous seven and eight seasons in the Western Conference respectively. Moving to the East this season will require some extra homework. “It’s very different,” Green said. “We know these guys [in the Eastern Conference], personnel-wise, decently. We don’t play them as many times a year in the west, so a guy like Cedi Osman, we don’t see him, we don’t know until we play against him that this guy is pretty damn good. More reading, scouting reports and looking guys up, knowing their strengths and weaknesses so, it’s going to be interesting and it’s going to be fun, that’s the fun part about it.”
Feels like home: Though there’s plenty to learn for Leonard and Green, Raptors teammates have been doing their part to make the adjustment a smooth one. After practice on Thursday, Green talked about the differences coming from a situation in San Antonio where he played with plenty of veteran players to arriving in Toronto and becoming one of the veteran players himself. “Being treated differently as a vet here, it’s a fun part about the experience, I’m enjoying it as much as I possibly can," he said. While the on-court adjustment will get easier as the games go on, things have been falling into place away from the arena. “The coaching staff has made it easy for me to adjust,” Green said. “Kyle has made it easy, Serge has taken us in, it’s been great helping us feel at home.”