The Boston Celtics return to action as they host the Toronto Raptors. They will clash at the TD Garden at 7:30 pm tonight, in a battle of the fourth and fifth seed of the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics are back at home, after a woeful road trip where they just won two out of five games. They had a statement win against the Clippers but lost surprisingly to the Kings and the Suns. Their last game was a defeat against the Jazz, which makes their record 12-11 now.
The Raptors are on a contrasting run. They have six of their last seven games, and their record has 7-12 at one stage to 12-13 now. Their most impressive win during this run was a six-point win against the Nets. They hold the fifth seed now and will aim to ascend further by beating the Celtics.
Boston Celtics expected lineup
Defensive juggernaut Marcus Smart will continue his time on the sidelines because of his calf injury. He is likely to miss the next two games as well. Romeo Langford is also unavailable due to his wrist injury.
Their lineup will remain unchanged, with Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown starting as their guards. Jayson Tatum and Tristan Thompson start as their forwards, while Daniel Theis starts as their center.
Toronto Raptors expected lineup
The Raptors will hope that OG Anunoby (calf) can return to action after their last eight games. He is listed as questionable and so is Yuta Watanabe (ankle). Patrick McCaw (knee) is still unavailable and hasn’t played a game all season.
They will start with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet as their guards, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam as their forwards, and Aron Baynes as their center.
Walker’s form will be crucial for the Celtics. He is having a terrible season so far and has let his team down. If he can improve, it will boost their chances to win. Siakam holds the key for the Raptors. They need him to continue his scoring, while also doing his best to stop Tatum.
Despite being the home team, the Celtics will be second favorites. They are on a losing run, while the Raptors are on a winning run. So they have momentum on their side and will look to make it their fourth win in a row.
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