The Celtics at 37-23 have the fifth best record in the East, as they will look to snap a two-game skid when they head up north to face the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
Boston is 2-1 against their Atlantic Division rivals, with their only loss against the Raptors back in October, the C's are 7-4 this season when it comes to the four teams ahead of them in the standings.
A win against the Raptors would be a step in the right direction, especially after an upset defeat at the hands of the lowly Chicago Bulls. Mass Live's Tom Westerholm caught up with a frustrated Marcus Smart following the team's practice on Monday, as he spoke about playing a Finals contender like Toronto.
"We don’t have to play these teams to know our potential," said Smart. "It’s frustrating because we do know our potential and that’s the problem. It causes a lot of frustration, but that’s what happens when you’re losing. I feel like once we start winning games our whole vibe and energy will change" [MassLive]Smart didn't mince words in Chicago calling the loss "embarrassing" and seemed clear how he wants his teammates to play like when he spoke to the media on Monday.
"A team that’s hard to beat," said Smart. "When teams look at us they’re scared to play us, because they know they’re going to be in a fight every game. We haven’t been there, we haven’t imposed our will on opponents like we used to. And once we get back to that everything will be all right." [CelticsWire]Whether the Celtics respond to Smart's expectations is anyone's guess, with 22 games left in the regular season, the schedule is not getting any easier for a Boston team that looks to make a deep playoff push for the fourth straight year of the Brad Stevens era.
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