The story so far: If this series wasn’t personal before, it sure as heck is now! Masai Ujiri said "F-bomb Brooklyn" before game 1, that riled up KG, who in turn said that "I don’t think you can say ‘F Brooklyn’, then come into Brooklyn." These two games have come down to the last seconds with each team winning a game by no more than 7 points. This has all the makings of an instant classic!
Raptors - Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, Johnson, JV
Nets - Williams, Livingston, Johnson, Pierce, KG
Jason Kidd went deep into his bench in game 2. Casey held a tight 8-man rotation. Toronto knows they get points from Vasquez and Patterson; Nets, it’s been hit or miss. Kidd need’s to find consistent offense from his bench or it might be a shorter series for Brooklyn than they want it to be… and not in a good way for them.
Landry Fields: I never thought I’d ever say this, but thank God for Fields! Clutch defense in game 2, slowing down Joe Johnson when it mattered. Look for him to do much of the same in game 3, thus freeing up DeRozan from guarding Johnson.
Thing to watch for:
via storage.canoe.ca2-15: The Toronto Raptors have only won twice on the road in the playoffs… EVER! Those two wins came back-2-back 13 years ago in 2001, when Vince Carter and the Raptors beat the New York Knicks in game 5 to close them out, and outlasted Allen Iverson and the 76ers in game 1 of the East Semifinals. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and this rendition of the Raptors must do what other Raptors playoff teams have failed at doing: WIN ON THE ROAD! To note, this is the only Raptors team that owns a winning road record (22-19). One of those wins came in Brooklyn. Why is this important? Brooklyn went 22-4 at home since January 1st, with one of the 4 losses coming at the hands of the Raptors… By one point no less. As if we needed anymore drama.
via a.espncdn.comRefs: Tim Donaghy, former NBA ref who was convicted of fixing NBA games (some of which he officiated), has called out the NBA for essentially doing the same thing, especially when it concerns the Raptors. The NBA has refuted that claim. Will that factor into how the game is called on Friday night? We’ll see.
via s3.amazonaws.comWell, I was at Maple Leaf Square (Jurassic Park) on Tuesday, and they were all chanting #WhatMasaiSaid. So, It’s a safe bet that we’ll be hearing some bombs hailing down against Toronto in BK. This one is personal. The Raptors quest for respect goes thru Brooklyn. They’ve been bucking trends all season… Friday night, they go to buck one more. Brooklyn’s dirty play will come back to bite them, Raptors will take advantage.
Raptors win by 1!