The Boston Celtics look to keep the momentum they had to end the first half when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday night at Air Canada Centre. The Celtics went into the break winning 24-of-32 games and are just three games back of first-place Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics decided not to engage in any trades prior to Thursday’s deadline, instead, keeping what they have including several draft picks to build on. The Celtics had won four in a row before a one-point loss at Chicago prior to the break. All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas currently has a franchise-record streak of 41 straight games with at least 20 points, while fellow guard Avery Bradley (Achilles), who has missed 20 of the last 21 games, has been downgraded to doubtful for Friday despite going through a small portion of Thursday’s practice. Center Kelly Olynyk is averaging 16 points – more than six over his season average – over his last five games while draining 11-of-20 from 3-point range. Boston will finish the month with Detroit and Atlanta before beginning March with a home date against the Cavaliers.
The struggling Raptors were players prior to the trade deadline, acquiring veteran forwards Serge Ibaka, who came from Orlando prior to the All-Star break, and P.J. Tucker, acquired from Phoenix in exchange for center Jared Sullinger and draft picks on Thursday. Toronto entered the Break losing 11 of their last 16 games, but snapped a three-game slide with a 90-85 victory over Charlotte in their last game, although Ibaka did not suit up for that one. Stars DeMar DeRozan (personal matter) and Kyle Lowry (travel issues) were absent from practice on Thursday, eliminating the chance for them to get in sync with Ibaka. Lowry had 32 points in a 109-104 loss at Boston earlier this month while DeRozan was out with a sore ankle, but the latter went for a season-high 41 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in the previous meeting, a 114-106 win for the Raptors at home on January 10th. DeRozan averaged 29 points in his first three games since returning from the ankle injury but then went 5-for-19 from the floor in back-to-back outings prior to the All-Star Break. Ibaka was held to a four points – tied for a season low – against the Celtics last month while still with Orlando.
These teams seem to be heading in opposite directions and the chemistry with Ibaka won’t be there right away for Toronto. Boston looks like the biggest threat to Cleveland in the East and I think they keep it going tonight.
Celtics are 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Celtics are 15-6-2 ATS in their last 23 road games.
Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Celtics are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Friday games.
Celtics are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
Celtics are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Raptors are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Raptors are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Raptors are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Raptors are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss.
Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
Raptors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Raptors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 7-0 in Celtics last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Over is 6-1 in Celtics last 7 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 6-1 in Celtics last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Over is 10-2-1 in Celtics last 13 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Over is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Under is 4-1 in Celtics last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 13-4 in Celtics last 17 vs. Eastern Conference.
Over is 9-3-1 in Celtics last 13 road games.
Over is 8-3 in Celtics last 11 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Over is 21-8-1 in Celtics last 30 overall.
Under is 5-2-1 in Celtics last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 20-8-1 in Celtics last 29 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 6-0 in Raptors last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
Under is 5-0 in Raptors last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Over is 13-3 in Raptors last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 4-1 in Raptors last 5 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Under is 4-1 in Raptors last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 6-2 in Raptors last 8 overall.
Over is 6-2 in Raptors last 8 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Over is 20-8 in Raptors last 28 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Under is 5-2 in Raptors last 7 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
HEAD TO HEAD
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Celtics are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Toronto.