Apr 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Celtics power forward Jeff Green (8) during the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Celtics 114-90. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics - Toronto Raptors: Preview and Fan Picks!

Boston Celtics fans, I know it’s kind of hard to think about, what with the stunning news

Oct 7, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard D.J. Augustin (14) drives the ball against Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) in the second half at TD Garden. The Raptors defeated the Celtics 97-89. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

of the trade that sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors earlier today, but there is actually a game being played in the TD Garden tonight, against the first-place Toronto Raptors, no less!

The Raptors are no strangers to trades: ever since they shipped Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, the Raptors have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA, going 12-4 since the deal went down and claiming the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

At one point this season, it was Boston who held that same top spot, but now the team is riding a nine-game losing streak, has seen three guards shipped out of town this month, has assigned its starting point guard Rajon Rondo to the NBA Development League, and is in danger of falling into last place in the Atlantic if it loses tonight.  Talk about a reversal of fortune!

Tonight’s game, then, will be a match-up of two teams headed in very opposite directions.  The Raptors have the chance to pick up a win against a team that is clearly on the ropes.  Meanwhile, it’s impossible to believe that Boston is going to be very competitive tonight, not with its third-leading scorer and top assist man gone, and an undrafted rookie point guard as the only true ballhandler left on the roster. By this point, all of the players in the Boston Celtics locker room are well aware that the front office has no intention of making the playoffs this season, so how, exactly, do you get motivated to win when that kind of message has been sent loud and clear?

Questions to consider:

1. I’m setting the over /under on tonight’s points differential at 15.5.  Can the Celtics stay within 15 of the Raptors tonight, or will they lose by more? (4 pts.)

2. More than ever, Jeff Green needs to step up and become the go-to-guy for the Cs.  How many points does he go for tonight?  (5 pts. to closest pick)

3. I predict that the Celtics will have problems scoring in huge stretches  tonight.  Pick the Cs lowest point total for a quarter.  (5 pts. to closest pick)

Tonight’s game is set to tip-off at 7:30 .  Make sure you follow us on Twitter – @HoudiniCeltics – and check back with us for our post-game reactions!


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