Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
Boston at Toronto
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, October 19, 2018
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Raptors beat out the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, but neither team got a chance to represent the East in the NBA Finals. Both teams entered 2018-19 with high expectations again, and the Raptors will try to get a leg up in the Atlantic Division battle when they host the Celtics on Friday.

Boston is the odds-on favorite to win the East this season with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward healthy, and the two stars finally got a chance to play a full game together when the Celtics dispatched the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 in Tuesday's season opener. "It was amazing to be out there on the court again for a regular-season game," Hayward, who was lost to a season-ending ankle injury two minutes into the 2017-18 opener, told reporters. "My adrenaline was definitely pumping those first three or four minutes. I think everybody's adrenaline was pumping, because it was sloppy at first, but it was great just to be out there. It was a big step for me." The Raptors aren't ready to concede the East to the Celtics and introduced their own superstar when Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points in a 116-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. "I felt good," Leonard told reporters. "I'm happy we came out and got a win, and I came out of the game healthy, so it’s a win-win for me."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, Sportsnet (Toronto)

ABOUT THE CELTICS (1-0): The one benefit to Hayward missing the season and Irving sitting out the stretch run and the playoffs with a knee injury last season was that young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown got a chance to develop. Tatum is slowly building his way toward superstar status in the league and led Boston with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting while adding nine rebounds on Tuesday. "He's a good player and we need him to be good," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters of Tatum. "And as I’ve told him and all our other wings, if those guys just really commit to being great defensively and making the next right play, everything’s going to work out. Because there’s a lot of good players out there."

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (1-0): Leonard was an MVP candidate before a thigh injury limited him to nine games with San Antonio last season and has the ability to change games at both ends of the floor. Leonard added 12 rebounds to his 24 points on Wednesday while point guard Kyle Lowry went 10-of-12 from the floor en route to 27 points. "It's still early," Leonard told reporters after the win. "It's only the first game. We had a lot of mistakes on the defensive end that we can correct. Our offense was also stagnant sometimes tonight. But our skill level and focus and us playing very hard tonight got us the win."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Celtics PF Marcus Morris grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds off the bench in the opener.

2. Raptors PG Delon Wright (thigh) sat out the opener and is questionable for Friday.

3. Boston and Toronto split the four-game season series in 2017-18, with the home team winning each game.

PREDICTION: Celtics 103, Raptors 92
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Boston 1-0 W1 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0
Toronto 1-0 W3 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
Last Meeting
Boston Toronto
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/4/18 BOS 78 TOR 96 78 43 33.3 96 48 43.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Boston M. Morris 21 50.0 6
Toronto D. DeRozan 16 35.3 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Boston T. Rozier 9 1 8
Toronto D. Wright 9 2 7
Assists Player  
Boston G. Monroe 3
Toronto D. Wright 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Boston M. Morris 71 47.3 7
Toronto K. Leonard 64 38.9 20
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Boston A. Baynes 26 13 13
Toronto P. Siakam 35 8 27
Assists Player  
Boston A. Horford 16
Toronto K. Lowry 17
Quickchart Matchup
Boston Boston Off vs  Toronto Toronto Defense
Boston Off vs Toronto - Points For 105.0 Points For
Boston Off vs Toronto - Points Against 104.0 Points Against
Boston - FG% 43.3 FG%
Toronto - FG% 40.0 FG%
Boston - Reb 55.0 Reb
Toronto - Reb 49.0 Reb
Toronto Toronto Off vs  Boston Boston Defense
Toronto Off vs Boston - Points For 116.0 Points For
Toronto Off vs Boston - Points Against 87.0 Points Against
Toronto - FG% 48.9 FG%
Boston - FG% 39.1 FG%
Toronto - Reb 44.0 Reb
Boston - Reb 47.0 Reb