Boston is on the up-and-up, weathering key injuries to claw their way back to .500, while Toronto has been faltering without their best player.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this game, including where to watch it and who will not be playing.
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
When: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Watch: CSNN, NBA League Pass (Live Stream)
Betting Line: Celtics -9
Andrea Bargnani—OUT (Calf)
Leandro Barbosa—PRB (Ankle)
Rasual Butler—PRB (Ankle)
Keyon Dooling—DBT (Hip)
Rajon Rondo—DBT (Wrist)
What's At Stake?
Boston is attempting to get above the .500 mark for the second time this season and the first since they knocked out the lowly New Jersey Nets back on January 4.
The Celtics have won five out of their past six games and vanquished Cleveland last night in a heated rematch of their Sunday battle that the C’s ended up losing.
However, it hasn’t been pretty, and Boston only won by three last night after being up by 22 at one point.
Toronto is hoping to take advantage of this sloppy play and steal a win without their star player, Andrea Bargnani.
The team has looked lost offensively without him, and Jerryd Bayless was their leading scorer in a blowout loss to the Hawks last night.
What They're Saying
Steve Bulett of The Boston Herald reported that Celtics coach Doc Rivers squashed any beef he had with Paul Pierce being upset about playing time:
We haven’t said one word about it. . . . It’s so silly. I mean, he was frustrated after the game. He said a word. It probably won’t be the last time, and nobody makes a big deal of it.
Doug Smith of The Toronto Star found that Dwane Casey felt his team did what they could to stop Joe Johnson, but the Hawks’ star still dropped 30 on them:
A few times we were in good position defensively, had our hands up and he just rose up higher and made tough shots. That’s what he does, that’s why he’s a superstar in this league and you have to tip your hat to him.
Raptors Player to Watch: DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan has a chance to step up and be the alpha dog on this team now that Bargnani is out.
He’s been able to do that sometimes, as evidenced by his 27-point outburst against the Nets on Sunday, but followed it with a nine-point stinker against Atlanta.
Celtics Player to Watch: Paul Pierce
With Rondo out, Pierce has really manned up and produced for this team. He’s averaging 21.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and a whopping 7.2 assists over the past five games.
See if he can keep up his role as a both a scorer and distributor while Rondo is out.
Key Matchup: Jerryd Bayless vs. Avery Bradley/Ray Allen
Bayless has been putting in buckets and getting to the rim lately, and it will be up to a thin and aging Celtics backcourt to stop him from dominating tonight.
Celtics 95, Raptors 90