The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are competing for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. These two teams have split the first four games of the series, setting up a huge Game 5 showdown on Monday.
Boston won the first two games of this series and was just 0.5 seconds away from going up 3-0. Toronto was able to score a buzzer-beating win in Game 3, and they were able to secure a 100-93 victory in Game 4.
These two teams have built up a nice rivalry over the last few seasons, which should be a terrific game. The Boston Celtics are slight 1.0-point favorites over the Toronto Raptors.
Celtics Must Make Shots
The Boston Celtics shot just 20 percent from the three-point line in the Game 4 loss, and that is a recipe for disaster. Boston has some guys that do most of their damage around the rim, but they need to make shots to create space to drive.
Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both averaging more than 20 points per game in these playoffs, but they need some help. Kemba Walker had just nine field-goal attempts in the Game 4 loss, and he must be more aggressive in this game.
Boston has been great on the defensive end of the floor against the Raptors, but playing great defense is only one part of the equation. If Boston is going to take control of this series, then three-point shooting will have to be a point of focus in this game.
Siakam, Lowry Know How to Win
Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry combined for 45 points and 22 rebounds in the Game 4 victory, and these two players know how to come up clutch. Siakam and Lowry were huge in the title run a season ago, and they will look to carry their team again in this game.
The Raptors are not a very deep team, and they played just eight players in the win in Game 4. Serge Ibaka had 18 of the 23 bench points in that win, but the reserves will need to provide some extra scoring in this one.
Toronto has been playing great defense, but it’s not easy for them to defend Brown and Tatum. The Raptors will be looking for another low-scoring game, and they hope they can get just enough offense.
Boston Takes Crucial Game 5
Look for another low-scoring game on Monday as each team understands how important this Game 5 is. Toronto has all of the momentum, but Boston should be able to turn things around quickly.
Boston simply has more offensive talent, and that should make all the difference in this game. The Toronto Raptors are never easy to beat, but the Celtics have too much talent to be denied.
The Raptors could still come back and win this series, but they will be just one loss from elimination after this game. Bet the Boston Celtics -1.0 over the Toronto Raptors.