Believe it or not, the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors never have squared off in the postseason.
But that’s about to change. And it’s sure to be one entertaining series.
The Celtics and Raptors will kick off their second-round matchup Thursday night in the Walt Disney World bubble as each team looks for a spot in the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals. And if their earlier meetings this season are indicative of anything, we could be in for one heck of a series.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse knows Toronto has quite the challenge ahead of itself.
“I think they’re really good,” Nurse said of the Celtics on Monday, via The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “They’re super talented, deep, they’re very well coached. I think they’re playing great at the moment.
“They put away a very talented (Philadelphia 76ers) team with ease, with ease. There was never a doubt really in that series, which way that was going, maybe a little bit in one game. They handled us really good in the bubble here. I’m hoping it’s a great series. We’re going to need to play great to beat them.”
The Celtics and Raptors have met three times this season, including Boston’s 122-100 trouncing of Toronto on Aug. 7 during the seeding round. The C’s split its other two games with the Raptors before the NBA’s four-month hiatus.
Nurse thinks there’s lots to learn from the teams’ prior meetings ahead of the all-important series.
“I think there is plenty to take (from those three games),” Nurse said. “I don’t think you can make any judgments on it. I think both teams are playing pretty well. I think both teams play similarly. There’s some fight. There’s some competitors. There’s some scoring. There’s certainly some defense on both sides of the ball. I think it’s going to be a hell of a series.”
Game 1 tips off Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET.