Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors: Playoffs Preview / Prediction | Respect the Crown | Sports Unbiased

Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors: Playoffs Preview / Prediction

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The Toronto Raptors clinched the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference which includes the Atlantic Division regular season title, giving them home court advantage throughout the 1st round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. The Nets and Raptors split the regular season match-up with a 2-2 record. Toronto has quickly become one of the best teams in the east, but their playoff success has yet to be proven. The Nets are returning to the post season for their second consecutive season after losing 4-3 to the Chicago Bulls in a close series during the first round of the 2012-2013 NBA playoffs. The Nets have a formidable lineup, playoff experienced veterans (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Deron Williams), and a rookie coach in Jason Kidd while the Raptors have experienced coaching but lack playoff experience among their key players.  Sports Unbiased NBA writers Arnold Glass and I have joined forces to deliver our predictions for the Nets versus Raptors playoffs series.

Nets vs. Raptors Playoffs Schedule

Local TV
Nat TV
Sat 19vs Brooklyn Playoffs
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ONAngeles, CA
Tue 22vs Brooklyn Playoffs
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ONAngeles, CA
Fri 25@ Brooklyn Playoffs
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Sun 27@ Brooklyn Playoffs
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NYOakland, CA
Wed 30vs Brooklyn Playoffs
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ONAngeles, CA
Fri 2@ Brooklyn Playoffs
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NYOakland, CA
Sun 4vs Brooklyn Playoffs
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

Who are the key players on both teams?

Jr. Williams: During this series the key players for the Nets are: Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Shaun Livingston. Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston will be important at the point guard positions – both players are strong guards who can score inside or beyond the perimeter. Joe Johnson has been the most consistent scorer for the Nets, and he will have to continue to be aggressive offensively if the Nets wish to stand a chance at defeating the Raptors.

Kyle Lowery and DeMar DeRozan are the most important players for the Raptors, they have to put up big numbers.  If even one of these players are ineffective, the Raptors could be in serious trouble.

Arnold Glass: This is quite easy for me. The Nets point guard Deron Williams has to come with a “complete game” throughout this playoffs. He was showing inconsistency last post season, especially in the series against the Chicago Bulls. Toronto’s shooting guard DeMar DeRozan will need help with the scoring in the back-court, the is why I pick point guard Kyle Lowry as my deciding factor for the Raptors to be successful.

Keys to winning the series

NetsArnold Glass: The Nets need consistent scoring from Williams and small forward Joe Johnson, capitalize from the re-emergence of Shaun Livingston and the veteran experience of a Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Jr. Williams: The Nets have to be aggressive defensively, they cannot afford to trade baskets or run up and down the court with a team as young as the Raptors. Force the Raptors into a slow paced half court game and run them off of the three-point line are the key factors in Brooklyn walking away with the series victory. The Nets must win a game in Toronto, otherwise this series will be over in six games with Toronto advancing to the next round.

RaptorsArnold Glass: The Raptors can use their youthfulness to put pressure on the older Nets lineup. The fact that they play in Canada puts a mysterious twist to the team because the public rarely see them play, which might give them an advantage.

Jr. Williams: I agree, the Raptors have to push the tempo, and head coach Dwane Casey will have to be smart about making the necessary defensive match-ups against the Nets. He likes to confuse the opponent by constantly substituting different players on the court during defensive plays. If he can control the offense and confuse the defense, the Raptors could find themselves in a great position to win this series.

Series Prediction: Nets

Arnold Glass: This will be one of the closest series to call in the first round. Even though they will miss the presence of center Brook Lopez in the long run, the Brooklyn Nets will have enough in the tank to overcome the assault the Toronto Raptors will bring. The Nets in 7.

Jr. Williams: The Nets have been one of the best teams in the league since January but one of worst when playing back-to-back games. From a schedule perspective, the playoffs seem to work in the favor of the Brooklyn Nets. I do think Kevin Garnett slows the team down offensively and his lack of aggression towards scoring the ball could lead to him riding the bench, nonetheless I think the Nets are the more experienced team and will win this series in six games, 4-2 . 

Jr. Williams

About the Author: Jr. Williams

Military Veteran with a passion for NBA basketball and vintage sneakers. When I'm not rambling about the latest NBA topics, I am collecting and restoring vintage sneakers. Please support independent writers by clicking any of the share buttons. As always, thank you for reading.