Though they have climbed back to respectability at home — Sunday’s win against the Clippers boosted their Garden record to 16-9 — the Celtics still have serious road issues.
Tonight’s game in Toronto against a considerably improved Raptors team offers a rather difficult opportunity for the Celtics to better their 7-14 road record.
“The road is difficult,” Kevin Garnett said before yesterday’s practice. “The style we’re playing right now, with a balanced attack and high assists and ball movement, is the key. On top of that, we’re getting stops, shrinking the floor, following schemes, following the game plan and playing unselfishly.”
That’s a start, anyway. The problem is that the Atlantic Division — the Celtics’ domain up until the rise of the Knicks and Nets this season — has become a top-to-bottom challenge.
Even the Raptors have taken a jump since adding Rudy Gay last week. Though still a lot stronger on the perimeter than inside, Toronto has emerged as one of the league’s most fluid offensive teams.
“Toronto is faster, a lot more confident, they’re playing with the element of getting the ball up and down the floor at an unbelievable pace,” Garnett said. “(Gay) has brought a spark to the city. That’s something that has stood out when I’ve watched him.”
Added Paul Pierce: “I’ve watched a couple of highlights with (Gay) and (DeMar DeRozan) and they seem pretty explosive. I’ve seen them put up some numbers. When you have a talent like Rudy Gay to go along with DeRozan and a healthy Kyle Lowry and some good, young prospects, they can be dangerous.”
As a result, Toronto is not a desirable landing pad for a road team.
“We have to be a better road team, definitely,” Pierce said. “Hopefully with the momentum we’ve mustered here in the last few days, we can get a win and come back ready for the Lakers (Thursday night).”
Doc deals with it
Trade talk — with varying degrees of truth — has Doc Rivers riled up more than usual this season.
Toronto not ideal place to fix road woes
Boston Herald | Feb 6