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Raptors vs. Nets: Can pluckiness overcome talent?

Probably not.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe a Tuesday night game against the 7-19 Nets in the midst of the last minute Christmas shopping rush isn't a game you had circled on your calendar as a must-watch. Hell, I might go out of my way to watch this game on PVR just so I can accelerate the drudgery.

That doesn't mean there aren't intriguing storylines to watch for coming into the Raptors' last home game before a long holiday road trip. There's beauty to be found in every NBA game -- even one that features Brooklyn -- if you dig deep enough.

Wouldn't it be a fitting troll move by coach Dwane Casey if he were to finally insert Patrick Patterson into the starting lineup on the night Luis Scola makes his return to the Air Canada Centre? Considering that Patterson has started the last three second halves for the Raptors, that long-hypothesized switch could in fact come tonight.

Joining Scola on the hunt for a revenge game is Anthony Bennett, who is in the midst of a pivotal season as he hopes to carve out enough of a niche to find a stable NBA job in the future. His modest 4.8 points and 3.4 boards in 11.7 minutes a night are hardly eye-popping totals, but they represent his most meaningful contributions to an NBA team in at least two years.

On the more promising end of the Nets spectrum is D-League legend turned NBA Twitter darling, Sean Kilpatrick, who trails only Brook Lopez (who will miss tonight's game) in scoring on the Nets this season. Kilpatrick's rise from D-League vagrant with few prospects to respectable NBA player in a way mirrors the path the torn-down Nets hope to take as they weather the post-Billy King storm.

There's no way to put it nicely. The Nets are in the dumpster, and there is no clear path for them to escape it until time heals the wounds opened by the previous regime's miscalculations. But guys like Kilpatrick, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and up-tempo coach Kenny Atkinson provide at least a few bright points that make Brooklyn a worthwhile watch - granted, 1.5x speed helps.

Which Nets player are you most excited for tonight? Whose revenge game will be more damaging to the Raptors - Scola's or Bennett's? Just how many buzzer beaters will a newly healthy Jeremy Lin sink?

Share your answers in the comments.