We have our first 2nd round series set for the NBA playoffs. The Toronto Raptors will battle the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinal. The Toronto Raptors swept the Brooklyn Nets 4-0 on their way to advancing. On the other hand, the Boston Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers. Toronto surprised a lot of people this year as many thought they’d fall off after losing Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Raptors didn’t miss a step and Coach Nick Nurse was awarded NBA Coach of the Year for their efforts. The Boston Celtics looked great in their series against the 76ers as they’re one of my favorites to reach the NBA Finals. Will the absence of Gordon Heyward affect them in this series against Toronto? Heyward is slated to miss this series with a severe ankle sprain. Who advances to the Eastern Conference Finals between Toronto and Boston?
My predictions were that both would advance, but it would have taken five games to do so. They kick off their series on Thursday, which gives them time to rest up. Kyle Lowry is nursing an ankle sprain and his status is uncertain at the moment. The Raptors have gotten good play from Fred Vanvleet and could fill that void if Lowry misses time. Pascal Siakim has emerged as a budding superstar in the league. Can the Raptors continue their great play and beat the Celtics? Boston is being led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker. Walker is enjoying finally winning his first round series in his 9-year career. Jayson Tatum is becoming one of the better players in the league. Jaylen Brown can go off at any time and Kemba Walker is playing great also. Can the Celtics upset the defending champions?
Before the NBA shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve said the Boston Celtics were a problem. With the emergence of Jayson Tatum, can he do even more to lift the Celtics past the Raptors? Will the injured ankle of Kyle Lowry have any effect on the series? This should be a very entertaining series and neither team is sweeping the other. The Celtics scored at will on the inside against the Nets, but that won’t be the case against Toronto. The Raptors interior defense is just as good as anyone’s in the league. The defending champions will be a tough task, but Celtics were one of my top 5 teams to win the championship. Boston Wins Series 4-2