Title: Raptors Recalibrated: Closing the book on lessons from the Celtics series
Date: September 12, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column broke down the Raptors season-ending Game 7 loss to the Celtics, and the series as a whole.
That’s about how much of Game 7 favoured the Toronto Raptors. That comes according to InPredictable‘s in-game measures of win probability, which factored in that the Boston Celtics were three-point favourites and, of course, the Raptors didn’t have actual home court. (Even though, yes, Luchasaurus was a digital fan rooting them on.)
It’s indicative of a series that played out nearly as close as we all hoped and expected but always tilted just a little to Boston’s side. The Raptors were series favourites before Games 1 and 5, with conflicting models or lines ahead of Game 7. That they even forced a Game 7 was a miracle of taking three out of the four coin-flip games in the series to that point, including some truly incredible late-game heroics at either end. What it came down to Friday, and really, in the whole series, is the Raptors were just a little outgunned by the Celtics. Or a little more tired. Or a little less fortunate. However you want to frame it, Boston is moving on to play Miami and we are recalibrating for the very last time this season.
Because there is no game to recalibrate for until maybe 2021, we use this space to close out the series with an eye toward lessons for the future.
As established by now, the morning after each playoff game, we’ll reconvene here to try to sort through all of it. We’ll look at key plays, key statistical trends, the major between-games adjustments, coaching decisions and whatever else strikes me as noteworthy.