Title: Murphy: How the Celtics tactically adjusted to beat the Raptors
Date: April 1, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down some of the tactical elements of the Raptors’ loss to the Celtics.
The Toronto Raptors dropped a second of three meetings to the Boston Celtics on Saturday. They are probably not worried after losing for the fourth time in seven games, and they are probably right not to be too worried given the style in which they lost.
At the same time, there were some tactical issues that the Celtics highlighted that may be of some concern so close to the playoffs. They didn’t reveal any new Toronto weaknesses, but Celtics head coach Brad Stevens dismissed any thinking that you don’t tip your hand and make adjustments so close to the postseason against a potential playoff opponent. Instead, Stevens made some key adjustments that the Raptors couldn’t overcome, and those are worth exploring since a playoff opponent figures to have paid close attention.
What will be just as interesting as those adjustments is to see how Raptors head coach Dwane Casey adjusts on Wednesday, if he opts to at all. In the team’s first two postseason trips of this era, Casey was fairly criticized for failing to make such adjustments, and that part of his reputation has outlasted its accuracy to some degree. He’s grown in the years since, making key shifts in the Miami and Milwaukee playoff series and improving noticeably as a tactician, especially between games. Even the last meeting with Boston was a great example of Toronto’s improved ability to adjust.
What follows is a look at some of the tweaks Boston made that are worth watching on Wednesday back in Toronto.