The Boston Celtics have a chance to close out the series and complete the cast of the Eastern Conference Finals with a win in Game 6 of their second-round series against the Toronto Raptors.
Can the Celtics end it in six? Or, will the Raptors make the Miami Heat wait a little longer?
Catch this game live Thursday, September 10 at 6:40 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: #3 Boston Celtics (3-2)
A choking defense and some balanced offensive contribution from the starters led to a 111-89 victory for the Celtics in Game 5.
Another similar performance could see them securing a ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals, where the Miami Heat are already waiting.
Jaylen Brown will come into Game 6 still fresh from a 27-point performance, as he hit 10 of 18 shots from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers in Game 5, which also saw Boston limit Toronto to only 38.8 FG%. The Celtics outscored Toronto 25-11 in the first quarter of that game and never looked back.
However, Jayson Tatum continues to struggle from the field. Although he scored 18 points in Game 5, he went 5 for 15 from the field and 1 for 5 from deep. Tatum is shooting just 39.2 FG% over the last three games. While that’s not completely concerning for Boston, the Celtics still need Tatum to be more efficient, especially when considering the fact that the team is just 17-21 in closeout games since 2008.
ROAD TEAM: #2 Toronto Raptors (2-3)
After getting held down to their fewest points in a game since the playoffs started, the Raptors will look to wake up their offense in Game 6, hoping to extend their reign as defending champions.
It’s not hard to see why the Raptors lost in Game 5. For one, Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry, their two best players, combined for only 20 points on 6-for-19 shooting. Marc Gasol played just 14 minutes and didn’t score. As a team, the Raptors went 12 for 40 from behind the arc.
The Celtics’ defense was really good in that game, but there were also several moments of the Raptors being passive and lacking a sense of urgency on offense.
Perhaps being a loss away from elimination will force the Raptors to be more decisive on offense like they did in their previous two wins.
The Raptors could potentially miss the services of Serge Ibaka in Game 6, as the big man was seen in a walking boot after spraining his ankle in last Tuesday’s loss.
Unlike in Game 5, the Raptors will attack early and try to set the tone right away before things get out of hand. We are taking Toronto to win this game, 110-106.