Even though the Boston Celtics lost to the Toronto Raptors this past Friday, Celtics small forward Marcus Morris still believes Boston is much better than Toronto, and he isn’t afraid to say why that’s the case.
The Raptors beat the Celtics by a final score of 113-101 behind 31 points from All-Star swingman Kawhi Leonard. Morris knows Toronto got much better in the offseason by adding Leonard, who has won the Defensive Player of the Year award two times and is arguably a top-five player in the league.
However, when asked by reporters Friday if he thinks the Raptors and Celtics are similar, Marcus Morris didn’t mince words.
“We’re way more talented than those guys,” Morris said. “I think they just played together a little bit more. We have way more talent as far as down the line. Kawhi and K-Low [Kyle Lowry] as far as talented — the other guys just play hard and play their position really well. You know what I’m saying?”
With both Irving and Hayward healthy, the Celtics are the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. Without Irving and Hayward during the 2018 postseason, Boston took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, so one would surmise the Celtics will be even more lethal with their two stars back. It will take time for Hayward to find his rhythm after missing a year of basketball, but once he does, the Celtics’ starting lineup is really unfair.
The Celtics’ bench is strong as well. Terry Rozier, who started in the playoffs with Irving sidelined, is one of the best backup point guards in the league. Marcus Smart is a lockdown defender and is always making hustle plays. Marcus Morris is a guy who can score in bunches and create his own shot off the dribble. Aron Baynes, who has become a fan favorite in Boston, has championship pedigree and is a smart interior defender.
Other than Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors really don’t have anyone on the roster who strikes fear into opposing defenses. When the game slows down in the half court as it does in the playoffs, Toronto may struggle to score the ball if Leonard and Lowry are having off nights.