The Boston Celtics remain undefeated in the 2020 NBA postseason. The Raptors gave it their all in Game 2, but ultimately they were unable to even the series up at 1-1. Instead, the lost the game 102-99 and now find themselves down 2-0 to a Celtics squad that seems to be coming together on both ends of the floor. Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 34 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, while Marcus Smart added 19 points for Boston, including 16 in the final frame to help propel Boston to a win.
OG Anunoby and Fred Vanvleet combined for 39 points for the defending-champion Raptors, but ultimately their production was not enough. When it comes to coming back in the series, the Raptors face a tough task, but not an impossible one. Just last year the Raptors fell behind 2-0 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals, and then they went on to win four straight games and clinch a spot in the Finals. The Raptors will have to hope that they can pull a repeat performance this year, even though they no longer have the services of reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
You can find three main takeaways from Game 2 below:
- The fourth quarter belonged to Marcus Smart
Heading into the fourth quarter of action in Game 2, Celtics guard Marcus Smart had just three points. In that final frame though, Smart absolutely went off. He hit big 3-pointer after big 3-pointer for Boston, while also making important plays for the team on the defensive end. In all, Smart hit five 3-pointers and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to help propel Boston to a win.
Smart's production was a big boon for Boston, especially since Kemba Walker had an off night and finished just 6-of-18 from the field. Smart won't be expected to hit six 3-pointers a game moving forward, but if he can provide consistent complementary production -- especially in the absence of Gordon Hayward -- it will make Boston that much tougher to beat.
2. Siakam not playing like a top option for Toronto
Following the departure of Kawhi Leonard over the offseason, Pascal Siakam stepped into the role of go-to guy for the Raptors. Siakam averaged career highs across the board and blossomed into an All-Star in Leonard's absence, but All-Stars are expected to step up for their team in the postseason, and Siakam hasn't done that in this series. In Game 1, he finished with just 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the floor, and his output in Game 2 wasn't much better. On Tuesday night he had 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting. Over the first two games, Siakam has gone just 1-of-7 from long range, and he has only gotten to the lane eight total times. Often, when a player is struggling from the floor, he will look to attack the basket in order to draw some fouls and get himself going from the line. Siakam hasn't done that. Moving forward, Toronto will need him to be more aggressive, and productive, if it wants to have a chance in the series.
3. Robert Williams is perfect from the field in the series
Through two games, Celtics big man Robert Williams has taken 10 shots from the field, and he has made all 10 of them. That's right, Williams is a percent 10-for-10 in the series. Pretty impressive. In Game 2, Williams' five field goals were critical, as they all came in the first quarter while the Celtics were struggling to find other offense. Others picked it up during the next three quarters, so Williams' production dropped, but he absolutely kept Boston afloat early on.
"He's the only reason we were in the game in the first quarter," Celtics coach Brad Stevenson said of Williams after the game. With the way he's played so far, it seems safe to say that Williams will get more opportunities to put his imprint on the series.