W2W4: Celtics vs. Raptors (Game 10 of 82)
November, 17, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesPaul Pierce and the Celtics welcome the Raptors to the Garden on Saturday.It's a rare weekend matinee as the Boston Celtics (5-4, 2-2 home) host the Toronto Raptors (2-6, 1-3 away) on Saturday afternoon (12:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
* ANY POINT GUARDS IN THE HOUSE?: After sitting out Thursday's game in Brooklyn, is Rajon Rondo (sprained right ankle) ready to return to the court? While the Celtics haven't play well enough to take anyone lightly, the team could buy Rondo a full week off if it sat him for both games of this back-to-back against Toronto and Detroit, two teams that are a combined 3-15 to start the year. What's more, the Raptors are playing without point guard Kyle Lowry, who has a bone bruise in his right foot. Lowry averaged 23.7 points per game in his first three contests of the season.
* SYNERGY SNAPSHOT: The Raptors are middle of the pack offensively (15th, 0.892 points per play), according to Synergy Sports data. The Raptors are not a particularly effective team in transition (ranking 28th), but are top third of the league in both spot-up shooting and isolation plays. More than a third of the team's total offense has gone through DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani. Defensively, the Raptors rank 26th at 0.935 points per play and -- beyond defending pick-and-roll ball-handlers pretty well, rank in the bottom third of the league in key play types like spot-up (28th), post-up (20th), and transition (27th).
* C'S NEED A LITTLE HOME COOKING: The Celtics are just 2-2 at the Garden this season and next week sees a pair of Western Conference powers visit in San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Boston needs to start taking advantage of playing on its home turf. It will be interesting to see how the Celtics adapt to the early start time.