The NBA Playoffs on the Eastern Conference side begin to pick up heat as the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics kick off their second-round series early Sunday afternoon.
Both teams were able to sweep their way through the first round as Boston took care of an injury-plagued Philadelphia 76ers squad and Toronto handled business against the Brooklyn Nets.
However, the Celtics will find themselves in an uphill battle against the wicked depth of the Raptors. It is going to be up to a young starting group of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart to be the heart and soul and will them to victories through this series. This will also be the the true test of Kemba Walker’s career as he gets to play in a conference semifinal for the first time in his career.
Boston will need to continue to play as a single unit. No one can step out of line and try to be a hero. They cannot allow second-chance opportunities to happen for a team as deep as Toronto. A glaring red flag for Boston took place in Game 3 as Philadelphia grabbed 20 offensive rebounds compared to Boston’s three. They simply cannot be lazy down in the trenches. If they are, this series will be over quicker than it started.
For Toronto, all they need to do is continue to overwhelm opponents with their depth. Look at Game 1 in the series against Brooklyn as seven players scored double-digit points. This is the time where Toronto proves to not only themselves but the world that they don’t need Kawhi Leonard to win a championship.
Norman Powell is going to be the man to watch this series as he was able to make up for starters struggling in games. He led the team with 29 points in Game 4 against Brooklyn and had 24 in Game 2.
Boston is going to give Toronto all that they have, but at the end of the day, Toronto is too deep and they are hungry to prove they are true NBA championship contenders.
Prediction: Raptors in 5