The Raptors lost to the Celtics in a close one after a dominating third quarter by Jason Tatum.
The Toronto Raptors faced off against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, and while they put up a valiant effort, they ultimately fell short of a victory. Despite their best attempts, the Raptors could not overcome the third-quarter deficit that Boston had built up. This was the first of four meetings between the town teams. The duo put up another 53 points last night.
The game was close throughout much of it, with both teams trading shots back and forth. However, Boston stepped up its performance significantly in the third quarter and outscored Toronto by 17 points. This ultimately sealed their fate — even though Toronto attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough. The Celtics are one of the best teams in the league right now, and their dominance over the Raptors in the third quarter was hard to watch as a Raptor fan.
Brown and Tatum are as dangerous as a duo can get in the NBA. The duo of Brown and Tatum have combined to score 25 or more points each in 13 games this season, the most of any tandem in the NBA. They really feed off each other. Tatum scored 17 of 31 points in the third quarter. The Raptors got multiple stops late in the game but failed to capitalize on the offensive end.
Fred VanVleet is Playing Below His Capabilities
One of the most significant issues for Toronto was Fred VanVleet’s lack of production in his 38 minutes of play. VanVleet finished with just 8 points on 3-14 shooting from the field and 1-6 from behind the arc. This is unacceptable, considering how significant an impact he can have when he plays well.
Gary Trent Jr., who finished the night with 20 points on 10 shots, could have used some of Fred's minutes. Toronto needs a scoring punch from both guards, but there's no need to double down on a struggling player when someone else is having a great night.
The lack of ball movement and shot-making was the issue last night. Raptors only had 19 assists to Boston's 27. Toronto's offense needs to get back to the basics and focus on getting good looks with strong ball movement. Until then, they won't be able to get past the next-level teams like the Boston Celtics of the World.
The Raptors will have to turn around and make things right against a hot LA Lakers team tomorrow.