Get ready for a clash between Eastern Conference heavyweights as the Boston Celtics face off against the Toronto Raptors. This will be their first meeting in the 2020-2021 NBA season. The two sides previously battled in a thrilling seven-game series in the last season's Conference Semifinals, where Boston came out on top.
Since then, a lot has changed for the Raptors, as many key players have left their side in the offseason. As a result, Toronto have been struggling since the start of the new season with one win and four losses.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have bounced back from a slow start to their season. Coming into this game, their record includes four wins and three losses. The Celtics will be eager to register their fifth win of the season, which will tie them for the best record in the East.
Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 4th, 2021 7:30 PM ET. (Tuesday 6:00 AM IST)
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics are coming off a 122-120 win against the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics star duo had stellar performances, with Jaylen Brown scoring 31 points and Jayson Tatum with 24 points to go with the buzzer-beater down the stretch that sealed the game.
Boston had six players in double digits and will look forward to another similar performance against the Toronto Raptors.
Key Player - Jayson Tatum
Fresh from an all-around performance and the game-winning shot, Jayson Tatum will be ready to repeat the magic against the Toronto Raptors. The 22-year-old forward is a pivotal part of the Boston Celtics’ vision to build a championship-caliber team that can take them back to the NBA Finals in the coming seasons.
Jayson Tatum is averaging 24.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 34.6 minutes per game. He is shooting 45.2% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Marcus Smart, G Jaylen Brown, F Jayson Tatum, F Tristan Thompson, C Daniel Theis
Toronto Raptors Preview
Toronto Raptors come into this contest with another loss, this time to the New Orleans Pelicans 120-116. While Fred VanVleet played well, registering 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, it did not help his side secure a win. The Raptors find themselves at the bottom end of the East as they hold the second-worst record at the moment.
On the bright side, Toronto has managed to do well on the defensive end of the floor, ranking fifth in overall efficiency this season. The Raptors will be desperate for a win in this matchup and could come out with high energy from the get-go.
Key Player - Fred VanVleet
Despite their losing record, Fred VanVleet has been playing inspired basketball for the Toronto Raptors. The 26-year-old guard has proven his mettle as an elite scorer and has one of the best shooting touches in the league.
Coming into this matchup, the Raptors will hope to see Fred catch fire from deep, giving his side a fighting chance at what could be their second win of the season.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G Kyle Lowry, G Fred VanVleet, F OG Anunoby, F Pascal Siakam, C Aron Baynes
Celtics vs Raptors Match Prediction
The Toronto Raptors still have many experienced players in their line up and could find their groove in this game. That said, the Boston Celtics are on fire recently, and containing them will not be an easy task.
Going by their records so far, the Boston Celtics are the favorites to win this matchup.
Where to watch Celtics vs Raptors?
Local coverage of the game will be available on Sportsnet and NBC Sports Boston. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.Published 04 Jan 2021, 21:36 IST