It’s game day folks and the Toronto Raptors are searching for a win against the Brooklyn Nets. After 2 losses in a row, Toronto is in need for a victory. However, don’t dismiss the satisfaction that we get in beating Brooklyn.
So far this season, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan look like the best backcourt in East. They’ve been playing well enough that Toronto might have 2 All-Stars when we host All-Star weekend this year. In the meantime, let’s focus on the keys to the game tonight:
Take Advantage of Guard Play
With Jarrett Jack suffering a torn ACL, the Nets have no surplus of options to try and slow down our guards. By no means is Jarrett Jack a star. Now that he’s out, the Nets will have to go with the inexperienced Shane Larkin and a 34-year-old Joe Johnson. This is where Lowry and DeRozan must take advantage of the Nets.
Focus on the Paint
Brooklyn is shooting a league-worst 31.1% from downtown, so it’s safe to say most of their offense comes from the inside. If the Raptors can play good, physical defense in the paint and mid-range area, they will have taken away a significant part of Brooklyn’s offense.
Contain Brook Lopez
As it stands, the Nets are the 9th best rebounding team in the league. Brook Lopez plays a huge part in that. Lopez is the centerpiece of Brooklyn’s offense and if the Raps shut him down on offense and slow him down on the boards, we shouldn’t have a hard time getting by the Nets.
X-Factor: James Johnson
With DeMarre Carroll set to go under the knife for his knee problems, James Johnson is the man that will start in his place. The way Johnson defends Thaddeus Young and Joe Johnson, among others, will determine the success the Raptors have in defeating Brooklyn.