While the final score looks lopsided, the game was surprisingly close. Toronto held a slim 90-89 lead after three quarters before exploding for 42 points in the final frame. DeMar DeRozan paved the way for the Raps in a 28-point performance.
We knew the Nets were going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this year, and their 8-32 record is proof that this team isn’t even on the radar of contention. Brooklyn has lost 10 straight games and 15 of their last 16.
The Raptors are currently 11-point favourites for the game — the biggest spread they’ve faced on the road all season. The total for the tilt opened at an astronomically high 228.
Here are three things to watch out for in tonight’s contest:
The NBA is undoubtedly becoming a 3-point league, and teams like the high-flying Houston Rockets are only reinforcing that notion. Simply put, the Nets aren’t the Rockets. Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson has embraced the concept, but his team hasn’t been successful at carrying it out.
Brooklyn shoots the third most 3-pointers in the NBA but has the third worst field goal percentage from downtown. Not great, Bob.
Clean up the glass
The Nets rank near the bottom of the league in a lot of statistical categories, but perhaps their biggest Achilles’ Heel is on the offensive glass. Brooklyn ranks 26th in offensive rebounding, as Trevor Booker (2.1 offensive rebounds per game), ex-Raptor Luis Scola (1.5) and Brook Lopez (1.5) come in as the team leaders.
Jonas Valanciunas has come under fire lately for a litany of reasons, but these midseason games against non-playoff teams are great opportunities for the big man to assert his dominance in the paint. A game vs. the Nets in January won’t be remembered in the postseason, but Jonas can use all of the tune-ups he can get at this point.
Brooklyn has been dreadful across the board lately, but they’ve been much better at home on the year. The Nets are 7-14 at the Barclays Center but have gone a brutal 1-18 on the road. With that in mind I don’t foresee this one being close, however stranger things have happened in the NBA.
Where to watch: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN