Title: Raptors take big win over Celtics in stride, but the takeaways are plenty encouraging
Date: February 6, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked at some important takeaways from a major victories the Raptors did their best to downplay.
The Toronto Raptors mean it when they say that Tuesday was just another game to them. “One of 82” is a common oversimplification, but the Raptors have tried to maintain the stance that because this season is about the process of getting better and peaking in April, they can’t allow themselves to get too high or too low. This is not being parroted after games as a matter of cliché or to avoid inspiring panic in bad times or whiteboard material in good – they are invested in the process, and that requires the long-view
Even after a thorough, 111-91 dismantling of the Boston Celtics at the Air Canada Centre, the Raptors were not willing to relent on that point.
These are the same Celtics who some have anointed as the East favourite, or at least the biggest threat to the crumbling Cleveland Cavaliers, the type of under-the-radar #ProveEm fuel the Raptors love. They’re also the same Celtics who now only lead the Raptors by a single game atop the Eastern Conference, against whom the Raptors have now evened the season-series tiebreaker (with two meetings to come), and for whom that No. 1 seed may give home-court advantage in an Eastern Conference Finals meeting in a few months’ time. And still, even the realest of Raptors won’t concede it was a bigger game to them.