Title: Raptors Tactical: Breaking down rotations and matchups from a first Celtics meeting
Date: October 20, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about some tactical and matchup takeaways from the Raptors’ first meeting with the Celtics.
For just the second game of the season, Friday night’s affair between the Raptors and Celtics sure seemed like a big deal. In a potential preview of this year’s Eastern Conference Final — yes, it’s early, but this is a playoff matchup we’ve deserved for a few years now — the two sides turned in a fun one on ESPN. That the Raptors came out on top in a 113-101 final is a nice boost for Toronto as they look to establish an early chemistry and momentum. Still, with three more regular season meetings to go against the Celtics, there will be plenty left to write in this story.
All season, this should be one of the more interesting matchups in the league from a coaching perspective. While Celtics coach Brad Stevens is bashful to the point of absurdity about his coaching chops, he’s made a well-deserved name by being one of the NBA’s better in-game managers. The Raptors’ Nick Nurse, meanwhile, brings the promise of much the same in Toronto, just without an NBA resume to date. If Nurse is as good as he might be, that adds an additional layer to this pseudo-rivalry of sorts.
“Everybody that’s coaching in this league is really good. And Nick is clearly great,” Stevens said before the game. “His job is to get the most out of his team. My job is to try to figure out and get the most out of our team. I don’t look at it as that. If it was a competition between coaches, I’d rank pretty low. So I’m glad we have the guys we have.”