Nets vs Raptors 2014 Game 5 NBA Playoffs Preview: Dinos Look to Gain Upper Hand

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

It's Game 5 tonight between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets and the Raps are looking to gain the upper hand for the first time in the series.

Game 5 and we're live.

The Toronto Raptors pulled themselves back from the brink of elimination, or, at least a 3 to 1 series deficit, with a stunning late fourth-quarter performance on Sunday evening, and now have some gusto going into tonight's crucial Game 5.

This one should be pretty interesting because of that.

Does Toronto come out like a house on fire and use that Game 4 momentum, not to mention home-crowd fervor, to overpower Brooklyn and not look back?  The Dinos should be long over their "nervous first-time playoff excitement" phase by now, and by all accounts, it sounds like they are, so maybe we finally see the Raptors offense reignite?

On the other hand, the way the series has played out so far, it wouldn't be surprising to see this match go right down to the final minutes once more, the game being decided by who has the better second half, the Nets with their third-quarter dominance, or the Raptors with their fourth quarter execution.

So I'm not sure I've got three keys today.

Rebounding, pick-and-roll execution, feeding the Raptors' big's on offense, Terrence Ross, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, turnovers...we've been through these keys a number of times and I went into detail regarding these and a few more yesterday on the site.

I'm just content to let this one play out this evening as two teams that are incredibly even in most statistical categories, look to gain the upper hand going into the series' waning hours.

How close are these two teams?

Check out this breakdown from NetsDaily's Game 5 preview this AM regarding the Nets and Raptors so far this series:

Raps-nets_stats_medium

It's a game of inches in many regards, not surprising considering these two clubs were a couple of the league's best after January.

So instead of three keys to the match this evening, I'm going with a prediction.

The Dinos win this one in easy fashion.

Not easy as in a 20-point blowout, but easy compared to the rest of the games this series, so fans don't need to pull out hair and bite off finger nails until the final seconds tick off the clock.

Or maybe I'm being selfish here, and that's wishful thinking.

I'm going to this one this evening, and not via media access, but as a fan, pure and simple.

Let's go Raptors.

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