The Nets-Raptors series moves to Brooklyn

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the chance to go up 2-0, the Brooklyn Nets couldn't get it done and lost on Tuesday night to Toronto 100-95. The series is tied at one and coming to Barclays Center for the next two games. The Nets were one of the best home teams in the league this season, going 28-13 and going on a franchise record 14 game home winning streak.

For those watching outside of the New York area, the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. And for everyone in the tri-state area, the game will air on Channel Nine.

The numbers

Here's how the series has gone so far:

2013-2014 Playoffs

Brooklyn

Toronto

Pace

91.99 91.99

Offensive Efficiency

103.7 100.7

Defensive Efficiency

100.7 103.7

Offensive Rebounding percentage

20.5 35.5

Turnover rate

10.4 21.5

Assist rate

14.9 16.2

Rebound rate

40.9 59.1

Free throw rate

35 36.2

Effective Field Goal percentage

46.8 47

Opponent Effective Field Goal percentage

47 46.8

Two games in and the Nets still can't find the range from downtown. For the second straight game, the Nets shot below their season averages from deep and struggled on offense. Deron Williams didn't take as many shots as he did in Game One, but still led the team in attempts. Outside of the first 20 or so minutes in Game One, Williams hasn't shot particularly well this series, but his aggressiveness is a nice change from his relatively passive regular season.

After a poor end to his playoffs last year, Joe Johnson has been a steadying force for the Nets. One big change for Johnson as compared to the regular season is where he's getting his shots. In the regular season, he lived on the perimeter & had some record breaking nights from deep along the way. So far in this series, the majority of his field goal attempts have come from inside of eight feet. With Terrence Ross struggling, look for this trend to continue.

Going into Game Two, Raptors coach Duane Casey mentioned that he wanted to get DeMar DeRozan more and better shot opportunities. He only shot 9-21 (six of his makes came from the midrange area) from the field, but made up for it by getting to the free throw line 14 times. Although he ended up scoring 30 points, he tied his career high with six turnovers and missed six of his nine paint shots. If you're Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson and the rest of the Nets, you can live with this. If the Nets can force him into tough midrange jumpers, they will be achieving what they set out to do at the beginning of the series.

Kyle Lowry didn't make any of his jumpers, but did everything else well.  He made four shots at the rim and got to the free throw line six times, making all six. He's been one of the best rebounding point guards in the league in recent years, and picked up nine on Tuesday. He also dished out six assists and cut down on the turnovers.

Two things have remained consistent for the Nets in this series: they do a great job of forcing turnovers and are getting pummeled on the glass. They were second to the Heat in opponent's turnover rate this season and have gotten the Raptors to commit way more turnovers than usual. However, the Nets (even with Brook Lopez) were one of the worst rebounding teams in the Association and that struggle has intensified. Before the series began, I mentioned that they'd have some trouble if they couldn't have success on the glass. They've made up for it by forcing a ton of turnovers, so if they can keep it close on the glass, they'll win.

We've mentioned it already this series, but execution late is going to be critical. Despite the win, our pals at Raptors HQ are still unsure about the Raps' execution late:

Speaking of late in the fourth: Any Raptors fan who feels great about the team's late-game execution is either an irrepressible optimist or blind. Far too many possessions in the fourth quarter had the Raptors going nowhere with less than 10 seconds on the shot clock, forcing (usually) DeRozan into tough attempts. He made some, and some of them were hugely important, but it's not a recipe for sustainable success. That has to be cleaned up as the series moves to Brooklyn, where the Raptors now must win in order to take the series.

Toronto's late game struggles, a young roster making their road playoff debuts and a hostile environment will make for a very interesting mix. Keep an eye out.

Player to watch: Jonas Valanciunas

So far, the second year man has had a great series. He's gotten double doubles in both games and has led in rebounding. He isn't a player that has much range with his shot, but who needs that when you're shooting 61 percent inside of eight feet. The big problem for him so far has been turnovers and he's coughed it up 11 times already.

What can slow JV down? Maybe playing Kevin Garnett more can help matters for Brooklyn. As Reed mentioned, Garnett is the team's best interior defender and rebounder (for what that's worth) and provides more flexibility on offense for the Nets. Back injuries are hell to manage, and it appears as if Jason Kidd and company will stick with what they've done all year as it relates to KG's minutes. If Mason Plumlee can stay out of foul trouble, he can foil Valanciunas on the inside. Jonas has already snatched ten offensive rebounds in the two games and Mason's quickness and athleticism could make it harder for Valanciunas.

From the Vault

Head back to Raptors-Nets Game Three from the 2007 First Round and see Jason Kidd in action.


More reading: Raptors HQ

TV Coverage

The game can be seen at 7 p.m. on My9 and ESPN2.

  • Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
  • Toronto Raptors Game Notes - Toronto Raptors
  • Raptors-Nets Preview - Brian Mahoney - AP
  • Nets expect raucous crowd at Barclays Center for Game 3 - Rod Boone - Newsday
  • Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Nets have to cash in on last summer's blockbuster deal - Neil Best - Newsday
  • Nets star Kevin Garnett says Brooklyn's fans should give it to Raptors GM - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
  • Kevin Garnett’s minutes restrictions with Nets still apply during playoffs - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
  • Nets’ Bench Players Taking a Back Seat to the Raptors’ - Seth Berkman - New York Times
  • Raptors not worried about Brooklyn crowd - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
  • Nets rubbing it in, regarding the Knicks? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
  • Starting Five: Keys to victory in Game 3 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
  • Kevin Garnett challenges Nets fans - Andy Vasquez - The Record
  • Nets' three keys for Game 3 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
  • Who’s winning the 3 key Nets-Raptors guard matchups - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
  • Kevin Garnett opens up: "(basketball) is my spinal cord" - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
  • Brooklyn must bring the noise for Game 3 - John Torenli - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
  • Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson make a formidable defensive duo - Eric Koreen - National Post
  • Toronto Raptors head to Brooklyn with history of struggling in road playoff games - Eric Koreen - National Post
  • Casey’s, Kidd’s mutual respect knows no bounds - Rachel Brady - Toronto Globe & Mail
  • Raptors comfortable playing on the road - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
  • Raptors wanted to draft Kevin Garnett back in 1995 - Steve Simmons - Toronto Sun
  • Mid-range shooters DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge a breed apart - Ryan Wolstat - Toronto Sun
  • Raptors face composure test heading into hostile Brooklyn for Game 3 of NBA playoffs - Doug Smith
  • Raptors entering new world as series shifts to Brooklyn - Bruce Arthur - Toronto Star
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