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Five thoughts recap: Boston Celtics 118, Toronto Raptors 1102 – RaptorsHQ



The Toronto Raptors finally hosted an NBA game, and for two minutes, it looked like it was going to be a celebratory affair. Unfortunately the Boston Celtics awoke from their post-Christmas slumber and outplayed the Raptors for the final 46!

Yes, it was a disappointing game, but, not a surprising one. The Raptors, after all, are shorthanded, and the Celtics, even though they were down a starter in Marcus Smart, are a damn good team.

That means there isn’t a whole lot to take away from this one, but let’s do the thoughts anyway!

We’ll Always Have 10-0

What a start, right? For those glorious two minutes, it seemed like the Raptors’ magical 2019 had a little bit left to give us. A 10-0 run to start? Were we really gonna run the Celtics out of the building on our first-ever Christmas Day game? Would the Raptors finally dispatch a contending team with ease? Were the Celtics overrated, hung over, or both!?

The crowd sure thought so. It was as loud as a playoff game in there when Kyle Lowry banged home that second three-pointer.

Alas. It wasn’t meant to be. The Raptors were outscored 28-9 the rest of the quarter, and Lowry only hit two more shots all day.

Still, it was a nice moment — like waking up on Christmas Day and seeing all the presents under the tree.

And then finding out all you’re getting is underwear.

Might be Time to Adjust the D

I wrote about this in yesterday’s preview and recap — how the Raptors allow space on the perimeter to dig down in the paint, trusting their defenders to be able to rotate back out to shooters.

That scheme just doesn’t seem to work as well without Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell and Marc Gasol.

With no timetable for any of those players to return, it might make sense for Nick Nurse to tweak a few things, and have the guards stay out on shooters a little more and concede more space inside.

Too Much McCaw

As usual I preface this with the note that I am not an NBA coach and that Nick Nurse knows his personnel better than I do. And of course, the Raptors are shorthanded so players are not being put in optimal situations.

But I just don’t see the value in playing Patrick McCaw for 32.5 minutes, in a game, in his first 25 minutes, he went 0-for-4, didn’t record an assist or steal, and grabbed only one rebound.

I understand that McCaw has value on defense (although that claim seemed dubious last night), and that you don’t need to score to make an impact (like Malcolm Miller in the Dallas comeback). But when the Raptors are missing two of their best scorers, and when a good defensive team like Boston is locking down Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, the Raptors need to get something from the starting SF spot.

Ah Yes, Noon Starts

It’s been a while since the Raptors have tipped off at noon, but it didn’t take these two teams long to remind us why these early tip-offs can sometimes be… less than entertaining. The two teams combined for 36 turnovers, many of the sloppy, unforced variety.

Ultimately, it’s probably a good thing the Raptors had the noon slot. It probably had the fewest viewers, so as few people as possible saw them play, and as such, we were likely spared a multitude of hot takes about them being frauds or unworthy of the day or whatever (while ignoring that they were missing three of their top seven guys).

Small favours, right?

Game Ops Does it Right (Again)

As with opening night and Kawhi Leonard’s return, the Raptors and Scotiabank Arena brought exactly the right mood to the day. Everything was Christmas-themed, and you really felt like it was a special event — which it was, despite the final score. The giveaway shirts were awesome, the intro video with the players in Santa hats was fun, and having everything gold-tinged fit the theme nicely.

But, as noted by many on Twitter including our own Sean Woodley, the NBA definitely missed an opportunity by forcing the teams into their City Edition jerseys — after all, wouldn’t a red versus green matchup been ideal for the day?

Props to the Celtics for their Christmas plaid warmups though!

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Lakers Considered Heavy Favorites By Oddsmakers To Win Finals –



The Los Angeles Lakers are heavy favorites to win the Finals against the Miami Heat with BetOnline posting them at -350

The Lakers are nearly 78 percent likely to win the series, according to the implied odds. Miami is at +280 as the underdogs.

The Lakers are generally considered the NBA’s most public team in terms of gamblers. 

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Sportsnet announces broadcast schedule for first two days of MLB playoffs –



The expanded MLB playoff format created a wild race to the finish but now that the dust is settled, the wild card round matchups are now set.

The 2020 season, already unique due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of play, will feature 16 teams instead of the usual 10 and begin with eight best-of-three series. All three games in each series will be played on consecutive days and be hosted by the team with the higher seed, with one playing eight, two playing seven and so on.

The wild card matchups are as follows:

American League
Tampa Bay Rays (1) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (8)
Oakland Athletics (2) vs. Chicago White Sox (7)
Minnesota Twins (3) vs. Houston Astros (6)
Cleveland Indians (4) vs. New York Yankees (5)

National League
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (8)
Atlanta Braves (2) vs. Cincinnati Reds (7)
Chicago Cubs (3) vs. Miami Marlins (6)
San Diego Padres (4) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (5)

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Blue Jays Newsletter

All games involving the Blue Jays can be seen exclusively on Sportsnet and SN Now. Coverage of Game 1 between the Blue Jays and Rays will begin at 4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT with a special one-hour Blue Jays Central pre-game show before first pitch at 5 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. PT. Coverage of Game 2 will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET/ 12:30 p.m. PT with first pitch at 4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT.

Former Blue Jays pitcher John Axford joins Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell and Pat Tabler for the special one-hour Blue Jays Central pre-game show, featuring a musical opening by The Arkells and a video essay from Stephen Brunt that explores the Blue Jays extraordinary 2020 season.

After the wild card round, the playoffs will continue in the traditional format with the best-of-five division series, best-of-seven league championship round and best-of-seven World Series.

The division series will pit the winners of the one/eight matchups against the winners of the four/five matchups and the winners of the two/seven matchups against the winners of the three/six matchups.

MLB is adopting a bubble format for the post-season following the success of the NHL and NBA’s playoffs.

As a result, the American League division series will be played in San Diego and Los Angeles and the championship series will be played in San Diego. The National League division series will be played in Houston and Arlington, Texas. Arlington will also host the NL championship series and the World Series at Globe Life Park, the newly opened home of the Texas Rangers.

Below is the full schedule for the MLB playoffs. All times Eastern.


Tuesday, Sept. 29Rays (1) vs. Blue Jays (8), Game 15 p.m.SN
 Athletics (2) vs. White Sox (7), Game 13 p.m.SN360
 Twins (3) vs. Astros (6), Game 12 p.m.SN1
 Indians (4) vs. Yankees (5), Game 17 p.m.SN1
Wednesday, Sept. 30Rays (1) vs. Blue Jays (8), Game 24 p.m.SN
 Athletics (2) vs. White Sox (7), Game 23 p.m.SN360
 Twins (3) vs. Astros (6), Game 21 p.m.SN1
 Indians (4) vs. Yankees (5), Game 27 p.m.SN1
 Dodgers (1) vs. Brewers (8), Game 110 p.m.SN360
 Braves (2) vs. Reds (7), Game 1NoonSN & SN360
 Cubs (3) vs. Marlins (6), Game 12 p.m.SN NOW
 Padres (4) vs. Cardinals (5), Game 15 p.m.SN NOW
Thursday, Oct. 1Rays (1) vs. Blue Jays (8), Game 3TBD 
 Athletics (2) vs. White Sox (7), Game 3TBD 
 Twins (3) vs. Astros (6), Game 3TBD 
 Indians (4) vs. Yankees (5), Game 3TBD 
 Dodgers (1) vs. Brewers (8), Game 2TBD 
 Braves (2) vs. Reds (7), Game 2TBD 
 Cubs (3) vs. Marlins (6), Game 2TBD 
 Padres (4) vs. Cardinals (5), Game 2TBD 
Friday, Oct. 2Dodgers (1) vs. Brewers (8), Game 3TBD 
 Braves (2) vs. Reds (7), Game 3TBD 
 Cubs (3) vs. Marlins (6), Game 3TBD 
 Padres (4) vs. Cardinals (5), Game 3TBD


Monday, Oct. 5AL Division Series AGame 1San Diego, (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)
 AL Division Series BGame 1Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
Tuesday, Oct. 6AL Division Series AGame 2San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)
 AL Division Series BGame 2Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
 NL Division Series AGame 1Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)
 NL Division Series BGame 1Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
Wednesday, Oct. 7AL Division Series AGame 3San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)
 AL Division Series BGame 3Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
 NL Division Series AGame 2Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)
 NL Division Series BGame 2Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
Thursday, Oct. 8AL Division Series AGame 4San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)
 AL Division Series BGame 4Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
 NL Division Series AGame 3Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)
 NL Division Series BGame 3Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
Friday, Oct. 9AL Division Series AGame 5San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)
 AL Division Series BGame 5Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
 NL Division Series AGame 4Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)
 NL Division Series BGame 4Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)
Saturday, Oct. 10NL Division Series AGame 5Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)
 NL Division Series BGame 5Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)


Sunday, Oct. 11ALCSGame 1San Diego
Monday, Oct. 12ALCSGame 2San Diego
 NLCSGame 1Arlington
Tuesday, Oct. 13ALCSGame 3San Diego
 NLCSGame 2Arlington
Wednesday, Oct. 14ALCSGame 4San Diego
 NLCSGame 3Arlington
Thursday, Oct. 15ALCSGame 5San Diego
 NLCSGame 4Arlington
Friday, Oct. 16ALCSGame 6San Diego
 NLCSGame 5Arlington
Saturday, Oct. 17ALCSGame 7San Diego
 NLCSGame 6Arlington
Sunday, Oct. 18NLCSGame 7Arlington


Tuesday, Oct. 20World SeriesGame 1Arlington
Wednesday, Oct. 21World SeriesGame 2Arlington
Thursday, Oct. 22OFF DAY  
Friday, Oct. 23World SeriesGame 3Arlington
Saturday, Oct. 24World SeriesGame 4Arlington
Sunday, Oct. 25World SeriesGame 5Arlington
Monday, Oct. 26OFF DAY  
Tuesday, Oct. 27World SeriesGame 6Arlington
Wednesday, Oct. 28World SeriesGame 7Arlington

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Jeff Van Gundy, Ty Lue Emerge As Early Candidates For Clippers –



Jeff Van Gundy and Ty Lue have emerged as the early favorites to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers parted ways with Doc Rivers on Monday.

Lue is also a candidate for the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans.

Van Gundy is a candidate for Rockets. 

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