TORONTO — There is enthusiasm in Canada today as the Raptors are one win or a Brooklyn loss from claiming their first playoff appearance since 2008 and all they need is a win over the Celtics, who enter having lost seven of eight games and are just trying to make it to the finish line.
Toronto is definitely aware of Jared Sullinger, who is averaging 25 points and 14 rebounds in two games against the Raptors this season. This is the final matchup between the two weeks and the Celtics haven’t been to Toronto since opening night, when they lost 93-87 on Oct. 31, the night the Red Sox clinched the World Series title.
BOSTON CELTICS (23-48)
PG Rajon Rondo
SG Avery Bradley
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kris Humphries
Inactives: Keith Bogans, Vitor Faverani, Gerald Wallace
TORONTO RAPTORS (40-31)
PG Kyle Lowry
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF Terrence Ross
PF Amir Johnson
C Jonas Valanciunas
Inactives: Patrick Patterson, Julyan Stone
Officials: Ken Mauer, Curtis Blair, Eric Lewis
TV, radio: 7 p.m., CSNNE, WBZ-FM (98.5)
• Jeff Green (stiff neck) was much better at shootaround this morning and will start, according to coach Brad Stevens. Green was limited to 6 points in 20 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Raptors.
• Rajon Rondo is also in the lineup coming off his 15-assist performance Wednesday. He was talking about playing with a protective mask after receiving nine stitches following a collision with Toronto’s Greivis Vasquez but was working out before the game with no protection for his forehead.
• Stevens said he was pleased to see Avery Bradley attack the basket more in Wednesday’s loss to Toronto as he scored 16 points in 37 minutes. Stevens said he wants to see Bradley score more in the paint.
• The Celtics are expected to take Saturday off before facing the Chicago Bulls on Sunday in the first of a home-and-home set.