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Raptors run Celtics out of building as a star is born in rookie Barnes

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Similar to within the season opener, key Raptors OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet may barely make a shot on Friday night time in Boston.

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Solely this time, it didn’t matter. Not with each VanVleet and Anunoby placing on defensive clinics, Gary Trent Jr. going off and rookie Scottie Barnes shaking off a tough debut to indicate everybody why he was the fourth choose of the draft.

The Raptors cruised to a 115-83 victory behind 25 factors from Barnes, 20 from Trent, and not less than 11 from each different starter.

Perhaps we should always have led with Barnes. The 20-year-old had an eye-opening efficiency. If he wasn’t loping previous Celtics gamers or leaping over them, he was throwing off-hand, no-look passes on the break. Or he was getting put-back scores, yelling and screaming very like Celtics legend Kevin Garnett.

It was one thing to see. Barnes additionally helped Toronto maintain the Celtics to 39% taking pictures that included star guard Jaylen Brown, recent off a 46-point effort, shoot 3-for-13. The nice Jayson Tatum led Boston with 18 and shot over 50%, however this was extra a testomony to his top-notch shot-making talents as he too was hounded, significantly within the second half.

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Each groups had misplaced their opening video games, although the Raptors had merely turned in a stinker, as an alternative of a troublesome, double-overtime defeat for Boston.

New Celtics coach Ime Udoka had warned beforehand that Boston would want to “total match their efforts and never allow them to beat us with their depth.” However his fees couldn’t try this. First, a relentless group of Raptors that missed 13 of 16 three-point makes an attempt within the first half caught round although laborious work and aggressiveness to go into the break down by solely 5. Then they only stored taking it to the Celtics within the third quarter, build up a 12-point benefit a few occasions earlier than stretching the benefit to twenty via three.

The Celtics had each beginning centre Al Horford and reserve guard Josh Richardson within the lineup for the primary time this season and each had robust video games, however it wasn’t practically sufficient.

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A SWITCH AFTER ALL

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse had stated pre-game that he’d persist with Wednesday’s beginning lineup, however talked about Trent Jr. changing Goran Dragic would “most likely” occur sooner or later.

Effectively, some level got here so much sooner than we anticipated, with Trent drawing in on the final minute. “Gary clearly is a scorer. He’s sort of but to get on observe this season (however) I’ve been actually completely satisfied together with his defensive presence,” Nurse had stated.

“I feel he’s bringing rather more of an effort than his on-ball defensive presence than we observed final 12 months. The distinction? Goran is rather more naturally some extent guard. I sort of need him to deal with the ball greater than he’s dealing with it with Fred. That hasn’t occurred very naturally but. We’re gonna attempt to get him pressure fed a bit. There’ll most likely be a day the place Trent begins and another person comes off the bench or another person begins,” Nurse stated. “That most likely places Goran right into a backup level guard function, which is fairly good.”

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Trent began 15 of 17 video games final season after being acquired from Portland. Dragic had informed a couple of of us throughout coaching camp that at this level of his lengthy profession he most likely prefers to enter video games as a reserve anyway. Dragic began solely 14 of his final 109 video games with Miami after being the long-time starter there.

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TOP 75 HAD SOME SNUBS

The NBA launched its High 75 listing of best gamers this week and there have been some snubs. As a substitute of re-doing its listing from 25 years in the past, which picked the High 50 gamers, all of these picks returned, together with 25 new ones. Whereas some wrongs had been righted (Dominique Wilkins and Bob McAdoo, particularly), there was one massively egregious omission from the listing. Dwight Howard isn’t the preferred man, however there’s no planet the place he isn’t top-of-the-line ballers ever. He was named the league’s high centre 9 occasions. That’s sufficient proper there, however Howard additionally received defensive participant of the 12 months 3 times, made All-NBA second workforce twice and third workforce twice too. I may go on, however you get the purpose.

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After Howard, the perfect instances may very well be made for Raptors draft choose Tracy McGrady (two scoring titles, two-time All-NBA first workforce, two-time second workforce, two-time third workforce, 5 High 7 in MVP voting finishes, although no playoff success hurts his trigger and helped an arguably lesser participant like Reggie Miller make the reduce). Alex English (eight-time all-star, scoring champion and one of many high scorers of the Nineteen Eighties, earlier than changing into a Raptors assistant coach) had a viable case too, although Bernard King’s accidents made him a more durable name. Vince Carter (no must drop his resume for Toronto observers) and defensive greats Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace additionally had good arguments to be there. Klay Thompson was indignant he didn’t make the listing. Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker had the resumes to be within the combine as nicely.

If nothing else, it received individuals speaking.

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