The Raptors had a brutal and lackluster game from the opening tip in a 112-94 defeat to Boston in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
Toronto shot badly, didn’t defend very well and gave the Celtics too many open three points. The best team won the game.
Whether that happens three more times in this best-of-seven series is truly a mystery, but if Toronto plays so badly and Boston plays so well, this series will be over quickly.
“Obviously, it’s not ourselves and I think the more we will have to play a lot better, especially at the offensive end,” said Raptors manager Nick Nurse. “I just thought we weren’t really doing very well there, we didn’t hit many shots, we didn’t play with great composure over there. It probably didn’t perform very well.
“But today it was tough on many fronts. I think the current X and O and the tactical part of them – obviously we will have to do better – but it was not a good pace for us today. “
- I can’t fix everything: The Raptors did what the Raptors do when they are lazy and in a bad mood – they tried to wipe out the game to change the pace and hoped it would start them all over the pitch.
After giving up 39 points in the first quarter, they switched to a somewhat jumbo lineup to start the second with Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka on the floor – Pascal Siakam was sitting on fouls – and played a ton of zone defense. . It seemed their defense was on the march a bit.
Gasol-Ibaka was really a joke.
“I think Coach Nick, when we play like we did tonight, is always looking for different things just to see what’s going to happen, what’s going on,” Ibaka said. “Playing with (Gasol) is a bit difficult sometimes because we have to try to figure things out.”
But it didn’t matter that they kept Boston on 20 points with 35% of shots in the second quarter when they only scored 19 points and went 1 for 12 three-pointers. By every metric, it’s a horrible offense.
- Little things: How to close the quarters. Bad.
The Raptors had a chance with less than a minute left in the first half to bring the deficit below 10 points, which would have been incredible considering how they played.
But after a turnover and a couple of Celtics buckets, it was a deflationary 17-point deficit in the first half.
The Raptors were around for no good reason in the third quarter, but somehow lost Jayson Tatum in an entry game with less than two seconds left, hit a jumper from the baseline to the buzzer and was a 15-point hole. points that went into the fourth.
None of these cases were the reason the Raptors lost, but they were pretty indicative of how they played. Bad.
- It must be better: The knives will come out for Pascal Siakam after a night of 5v16 shooting with no three points and only three rebounds, and it’s entirely justified if not entirely fair. With an egalitarian offense like the Raptors, it has to produce more.
Sam Mitchell – do you remember? – got a great point at half-time when he noticed Siakam was too far from the basket to be effective. Siakam is at his best when he’s fast and decisive and you can’t be a fast and firm post player if you start pulling a defender 3 or 12 feet back from the basket.
“I think I got where I wanted,” Siakam said. “I just have to finish some of the shots I took and, yes, I think I got to where I wanted to get on the floor.”
I think he is wrong. At least as far as Sunday is concerned.