That was embarrassing. In a pivotal game 5 the Toronto Raptors failed to show up against the Boston Celtics. the final score of the game was 111-89. The 22 point loss is their largest losing point margin this playoffs.

The Numbers Game

Historically, the cost of losing game 5 of aCeltics look to knock out champion Raptors in Game 6 - 7 game series is massive in the NBA. The odds for the losing team winning the series drops by nearly 30%. The unorthodox nature of this year’s post-season hardly matters when both the away and home teams see a significant plummet in odds. Perhaps the lack of any significant home-court advantage will skew the numbers. Thus far the away team has won every game. Regardless of any statistical implications it’s impossible to deny that the Raptors have found themselves in a hole.

Ibaka’s Ankle

Serge Ibaka was seen in a walking boot to support his left ankle on Tuesday. It is questionable if he will be available for game 6. Losing one of the team’s most consistent offensive weapons before an elimination game is never a good thing, but perhaps it can open the door for Nick Nurse to get creative with his roster. Chris Boucher is the obvious replacement but there are line-ups with either Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or Pascal Siakam at the 5 that worked quite well during the regular season. Marc Gasol has been a tad bit too slow to keep up with the Celtics’ athletic wings.

It’s all about TransitionImage

The Raptors may have the most stagnant half court offence remaining in the playoffs. They’ve covered for their lack of a go to shot creator with some stellar spread pick and roll sets. Their bread and butter however, has been scoring in transition. The Celtics have forgone offensive rebounding and have instead hustled back to the defensive end. The Raptors have been unable to push the ball up the court in a way that helps them get a numbers advantage. Fast Break Points for ‘The North’ has dropped from a league leading 18.8 per game to 12.2 against Boston. A similar drop has happened with their points off of turnovers.

Still the Raptors are getting open looks off of unselfish play and pick and roll action. The shots, wide open or not, are simply not falling. Their mediocre 30.9% from deep is a far cry from the 37.4% they were sniping with in the regular season.

The Raptors’ Last Stand

Hopefully the subheading is a lie. The Raptors face elimination for the first time since last year’s Eastern Conference Semi Finals. The match-up is tonight, September 9th at 6:30 PM/EST.