Celtics sure look like title contenders in blowout of Raptors

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By WEEI 93.7

Last year when the Celtics blew out the Bucks in Game 1 of their 2018-19 best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series Paul Pierce had a memorable proclamation.

"I think it's over," the C's legend said last year.

That, of course, led to four straight wins by Milwaukee and the end of the Celtics' season.

Nobody is going to make that mistake this time around in the Celtics' series with the Raptors after Boston's 112-94 Game 1 win over Toronto Sunday, but nobody is about to throw a bucket of water on the C's optimism after this one. (For a complete box score, click here.)

Brad Stevens' team dominated from the outset, leading by as much as 24 points on the way to the message-sending win.

Perhaps the two biggest developments from the victory didn't come from any of the Celtics' three stars, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker or Jayson Tatum. This was about the effectiveness of starters Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis, along with the off-the-bench contribution of Robert Williams.

Two big plays from Jaylen Brown in a row, including this great dime to Theis. pic.twitter.com/ehSXv6I7zC

— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) August 30, 2020

Smart finished with 21 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the floor, notching six rebounds and four assists. Theis managed 13 points and 15 rebounds, while his chief substitution, Williams, made all five of his shots from the floor to finish with 10 points.

“You’re gonna fight me?” - Serge Ibaka, not worried about it in the slightest pic.twitter.com/lXA7E5cSNJ

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 30, 2020

When it was all said and done, the Celts shot 48 percent from the floor against the vaunted Toronto defense, with the C's holding the Raptors to just a 37 percent shooting percentage. 

"I think it's over."– Paul Pierce following the Bucks’ 22-point loss to the Celtics in Game 1 pic.twitter.com/XzsRzjQnW6

— ESPN (@espn) April 28, 2019