Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
Preseason records: Raptors (1-1), Celtics (1-0)
Where to watch
Date: Saturday, Oct. 9
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Raptors vs. Celtics game preview
After a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, Toronto looks to continue the process of fine-tuning, which is what the preseason is all about. The Raptors will take the floor for the third game of a five-game preseason slate on Saturday night as they head to Beantown to take on the Celtics, who are back in action after a win over the Orlando Magic on Monday.
We've got you covered with a few things to keep an eye on.
Fresh faces in the rotation
Through two preseason games, the Raptors have relied on several rotational players to log more than 15 minutes per contest, from mainstays in OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet to newcomers such as Precious Achiuwa, Scottie Barnes, Goran Dragic and Svi Mykhailiuk.
That said, there hasn't been much available time for the likes of Isaac Bonga, Sam Dekker, David Johnson, Reggie Perry or Ish Wainright just yet. Per Sports Illustrated's Aaron Rose , head coach Nick Nurse said "you'll see [Dekker] eventually" following Thursday's game in Philadelphia, which is a statement that can likely be applied to the others that have seen limited time.
Save for Johnson, who is on a two-way contract, each of the aforementioned names is battling for one of the Raptors' final roster spots on non-guaranteed deals. The best way to evaluate these players is by watching them compete against NBA talent, meaning Nurse will likely use these final three games for some assessment of the guys that have not played much just yet.
Justin Champagnie's efforts
It would appear that the Raptors have found yet another undrafted diamond.
Through two preseason games, the 6-6 rookie is averaging 13.5 points to go along with a team-high 8.0 rebounds. After the preseason opener, Nurse said that "it will be hard to keep [Champagnie] out the rotation," according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic . That's a big role for any rookie, let alone one on a two-way contract.
As a two-way player, Champagnie will be limited to 50 games on Toronto's active roster, but if he keeps this up, he could find himself converted to a standard contract sooner rather than later. Keep an eye on the 20-year-old as he continues to outperform his deal.
A familiar foe
Boston and Toronto are pretty familiar with one another.
The Atlantic Division foes met for an epic seven-game series in the bubble just over a year ago and faced off three times during the 2020-21 season. Saturday night will mark the 11th time these two teams have met in a little over 12 months, with four more meetings set to come this season.
As familiar as they are, much has changed, as the Raptors and Celtics are each coming off transformational offseasons. Although Jaylen Brown will be out (health and safety protocols), this meeting will unofficially usher in a new era of the rivalry. Toronto can get familiar with Boston's new additions in Juancho Hernangomez and Josh Richardson, not to mention veteran big man Al Horford, who has re-entered the conversation after brief stints in Philadelphia and Oklahoma City.
It's never too early to get an idea of what a rival has in store, especially under a new head coach in Ime Udoka.
Raptors vs. Celtics injury report
(As of 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 8)
|Team||Player Name||Current Status||Reason|
|Boston Celtics||Jaylen Brown||Out||Health and Safety Protocols|
|Dennis Schröder||Out||Injury/Illness - Left Knee; Contusion|
|Toronto Raptors||Khem Birch||Out||Health and Safety Protocols|
|Chris Boucher||Out||Injury/Illness - Left Finger; Dislocation - middle|
|Pascal Siakam||Out||Injury/Illness - Left Shoulder; Surgery - rehabilitation|
|Yuta Watanabe||Out||Injury/Illness - Left Calf; Strain|
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