The 2022-23 NBA season inched ever nearer this Wednesday night, because the Boston Celtics took the court docket for his or her second preseason sport of the brand new marketing campaign, this time internet hosting the Toronto Raptors at dwelling on the TD Backyard. However whereas the ultimate consequence — a 125-119 extra time win by the Raptors — may not look splendid, the Celtics walked away with their second consecutive spectacular preseason efficiency. They held the Raptors at arm’s size, sustaining a double-digit lead whereas the starters remained within the evening’s rotation, and it wasn’t till the deep bench took the court docket that Toronto was in a position to flip the evening’s proceedings round.
Jaylen Brown was the recent hand but once more, main all scorers with 23 factors in simply 27 minutes of motion, whereas Jayson Tatum added a double-double with 18 factors and 10 rebounds. Newcomer Malcolm Brogdon continued to appear like a seamless match on Boston’s second unit, shelling out 9 assists in 23 minutes, whereas teenager Sam Hauser cashed in on 5 of his eight three-point makes an attempt. The Raptors, in the meantime, featured a balanced offensive assault, with 12 gamers recording a number of made photographs, however weren’t in a position to preserve the Boston lead inside single-digits whereas the first rotation gamers have been nonetheless on the court docket.
Two days after a near-immaculate 134-93 preseason win over the Hornets, the Celtics’ second outing of the 2022 Preseason regarded way more the a part of an exhibition sport. Each groups got here out of the gates wanting far out of rhythm, with the rating sitting at simply 8-6 in favor of the Raptors greater than midway by the opening quarter. Few photographs even appeared notably shut, particularly from behind the arc, the place the rivals mixed to shoot simply 2-for-14 earlier than Sam Hauser linked on a buzzer-beating three-pointer off the feed from Malcolm Brogdon.
The Brogdon-Hauser connection on the finish of the primary quarter lastly woke the Celtics up. Their absent taking pictures made a triumphant arrival, because the Hauser threes started to multiply and the Celtics surged forward by double-digits within the course of. The protection did its half, too, with Boston’s lively switching scheme flustering Toronto’s half-court offense to the tune of 38% taking pictures within the first half. Led by 33 factors mixed between Tatum and Brown, the Celtics entered the halftime break with a 16-point lead, 62-46.
As play resumed within the second half, the third quarter very a lot resembled the second. The Celtics opened the quarter operating their regular rotation, and regarded comfy and assertive all through. With the lead persevering with to hover within the neighborhood of 20 because the clock ticked down within the third, the sport shifted in direction of the different focus of preseason basketball: lineup experimentation. Interim coach Joe Mazzulla discovered the chance to toy round with an uncommon lineup mixture that includes Grant Williams at middle because the clock ticked down on the third quarter, and the Celtics entered the ultimate body with a 90-72 benefit.
Experimentation throughout video games has its dangers, in fact, and because the last quarter kicked off, the Celtics’ uber-small lineup gave up a 13-3 Raptors run to chop their lead again down into the single-digits — a state of affairs the place, in a sport that counted, the starters may need returned to revive order. That is preseason, nevertheless, and the Celtics as a substitute dug additional into the bench to journey out the remaining minutes of regulation. The Toronto run continued to balloon, with the Raptors going as far as to reclaim a 108-106 lead with simply 1:30 remaining in regulation, and with the Celtics clutching to only a two-point lead as time expired, Toronto’s Jeff Dowtin tied the sport at 110 to power an elusive preseason extra time interval.
And so we commenced with extra time preseason basketball, which shortly proved to be a Raptors-dominated affair. The 2 groups traded buckets for the opening possessions of the additional interval, however a Khem Birch three-pointer and D.J. Wilson two-pointer opened up a seven-point Toronto benefit with only one minute to play. Payton Pritchard linked on a deep three-pointer to convey the Celtics again inside 4, however the Celtics couldn’t capitalize additional, and eventually walked away with the loss.
Subsequent up, the Celtics will proceed to fine-tune the gameplan because the preseason passes its midway mark, as they hit the street for a rematch towards the Charlotte Hornets this Friday, October 7 at 7:30 PM EST on NBC Sports activities Boston.
For extra postgame protection of Boston’s second sturdy preseason efficiency, tune into the Backyard Report Postgame Present LIVE on CLNS Media proper after the sport. Be part of A Sherrod Blakely, Bobby Manning, Josue Pavon, Jimmy Toscano and host John Zannis for a full breakdown.