I said it after the Game 1 against the Sixers and I will say it after the Game 1 beatdown against the Raptors.
This series is FAR from over.
Having said that, holy shit what a complete 48 minute performance from the Celts to kick this series off. From the opening tip they had their foot on the gas and never let up at any point. With every Raptors attempt to go on a run, the Celts punched back. With Jayson Tatum basically not scoring in the first quarter, other guys stepped up. For those keeping track at home this is now 5 straight playoff wins and 9 straight wins overall for the regular rotation players. I find it hard to imagine the Raptors will play this poorly again in this series, they couldn't make a damn shot, but credit the Celts defense for playing with great energy.
When I look at what made the Celts successful, it starts with limiting the Raptors' perimeter players. Both Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet were complete non factors. Then you move to the work they did on Pascal Siakam and his 5-16 and that's how you find yourself on the right side of a big time playoff blowout. Remember, this is a team missing Gordon Hayward. The Raptors got the extra days of rest to have a healthier Lowry. These two teams have played twice so far in the bubble and the Celts have blown them out a total of two (2) times. Does that mean this will happen the rest of the series? Of course not, don't be silly. But it's hard to not walk away impressed with how the Celts played today against the best defense in the bubble. They essentially had their way with whatever the Raptors tried to do.
A series can change in an instant, but it's hard to have a better start than what we just witnessed. This team is locked in, they're rolling on both ends and hopefully this is just the beginning.
We'll have a complete breakdown in the morning, but for now everyone raise your glass.
1 down. 3 to go.