It is hard to win a basketball game when you can’t get the ball through the hoop. The Toronto Raptors learned that the hard way in a blowout loss. The Boston Celtics (46-23) dominated the Raptors 122-100 in Friday’s match. Toronto now sits at 49-19 as they look to win their 6th division title in 7 years.

The Celtics can still take the division from ‘The North’. In the instance that the Raptors lose the rest of their games and the Celtics sweep their remaining three, their records would be identical at 49-23. With a 3-1 regular season series advantage, Boston would take the 2nd seed.

Raptors Playoff Projection

There will be an opportunity for the Raptors to get their revenge in the playoffs. In a seven game series the Celtics match-up well and are a serious threat. Their arsenal of crafty offensive scorers is certain to keep the Toronto defence on their toes. The tandem of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum is a dangerous offensive threat even for the Raptors top ranked defence. The duo are a threat to slash inside with their dynamic athleticism. Their shooting touch also makes them fantastic floor spacers that allow perennial All-star Kemba Walker to put his defender on a proverbial island.

Boston has versatile wing defenders are a thorn in the Raptors’ claw. Contrary to the brick-laying exhibition last night, Toronto shoots a with higher efficiency against the Celtics compared to their season average. Where Boston hurts Toronto is turnovers. The Raptors commit 5.4 more turnovers (20) against the Celtics when compared to their season average of 14.6. This significantly lowers their scoring opportunities and plays a significant part in their average points dropping by 7.3.

Just Outplayed

Toronto played atrociously this game. They never led and trailed by as much as 40 points. Fred VanVleet was the leading scorer with a mediocre 13 points on 28.6% (4/14) shooting. There were no other notable performances. The Raptors were sub-par in almost every major category this game. The entire line-up was unable to find good shots in front of the tenacious Boston defence. They were only able to cut the lead down from 40 points to 22 when they went on a meaningless 29-11 point run at the end of the 4th.

The consolation is the bench players got some minutes and were productive in that time down the stretch. For players struggling offensively, just seeing the ball go into the basket is a way to build some momentum going forward. The majority of the Raptors’ bench needed to see that happen, even if it was while futilely cutting away at a 40 point deficit. Another consolation is that Toronto has been too good this season to repeat such an horrendous performance. They have only suffered three losing streaks this year and their other losses are one off occasions.

Up Next for the Raptors

The Toronto Raptors look to right the ship against the Memphis Grizzlies (33-37) on Saturday, August 9 at 2PM/EST. The Grizzlies are a young team desperately trying to stay in playoff contention but the loss of Jaren Jackson Jr. for the Grizzlies means that Toronto’s bigs will have a field day against the short-handed squad. Be sure to tune in to cheer on our Toronto Raptors!