The Boston Celtics will be trying to end their three-game losing streak when they travel to the Air Canada Centre to take on the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM. ET.
Last week, the Celtics were in third position in the Eastern Conference standings and looked like they were going to catch up to the Toronto Raptors, who are in second place in the standings. Unfortunately, the Celtics have lost four of their last five games and dropped to 5th place in the standings. They are now half a game behind the Miami Heat, who are in third place.
The Toronto Raptors have been on a tear lately, winning seven of their last 10 games. Their recent streak has moved them within 2.5 games of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in first place in the Eastern Conference. If the Raptors want to avoid playing on the road in the Eastern Conference playoffs, they still have some ground to cover and need to do so by winning games like this at home.
One of the reasons Boston has lost four of their last five games is because they haven’t been able to score a lot of points lately. The Celtics have been one of the top scoring teams in the NBA this season, averaging 106 points per game, which is the 5th best average in the league.
In their last five games, the Celtics went over the 100 point mark twice but were outscored by their opponents both times.
Defensively, Boston also hasn’t been playing with the same intensity it had for most of the season. The Celtics allow their opponents to score an average of 102.4 points per game, which is the 13th best. In their last five games, their opponents have averaged 114 points per game, which is significantly higher than the team’s season average.
The Raptors on the other hand seem to have found a good offensive and defensive balance. During their recent stretch, the Raptors have held their opponents under 100 points in five games, while the Raptors topped 100 points in each of the 10 games.
Kyle Lowry is one of the biggest reasons the Raptors have been playing so well of late. Since the All-Star break, Lowry is averaging 24.9 points and 7.5 assists. Lowry’s post All-Star break numbers are better than the 21 points and 6.3 assists per game he averaged in the first half of the season on his way to his second consecutive All-Star selection.
Game Lines and Odds
The Celtics are slumping right now while the Raptors are on a roll. Since the game is going to be played in Toronto and the Celtics are 16-17 on the road, I’m going with the Raptors to cover the spread and get the win.
Play: Raptors -1.5 @ SportsInteraction.com