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Nets head to north to play the Raptors

"Tables turn, bridges burn, you live and learn."
"Tables turn, bridges burn, you live and learn."
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

So much for that. Playing at home against an injury riddled Miami Heat team, the Brooklyn Nets were unable to take advantage and lost 95-90. Making matters worse, the roof started leaking during the game. For a team that needs every break it can get, a loss like this is unacceptable.

Waiting for the Nets will be the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors. The Raps have built upon their successful 2013-2014 campaign and are the favorites to win the division again. They won their last game against the Orlando Magic on Monday night and have a comfortable lead in the division. They've also won their last three games. Although the bottom of the East sucks, the top of the Conference figures to be close throughout the season. Cleveland, Chicago and Washington will pose great challenges for the Raptors.

Where to follow the game

This one is a primetime affair. In addition to being on the YES Network, the game will air on ESPN. On the radio, WFAN 101.9 FM has got you covered. Tip off is scheduled for a bit after 8:00 PM.


Brook Lopez won't be here. The big guy is progressing from his back injury and will be evaluated this Saturday. Sergey Karasev is dealing with some muscle tightness in his left side and his status is unknown as of this writing.

For the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan is still out of action after suffering a groin injury on November 29 against Dallas.

The game

What's the story? Let's get into it:

2014-2015 Season

Brooklyn Toronto


10-13 19-6


94.19 95.41

Offensive Efficiency

100.1 110.7

Defensive Efficiency

102.5 103.9

Turnover Rate

15.4 12.5

Assist Rate

16.3 16.1

Offensive Rebounding Rate

23.7 26.5

Rebounding Rate

49 49.9

Free Throw Rate

27.1 31.4

Effective Field Goal Percentage

48.6 51.3

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.1 50.7

It's Drake night! The Raptors will be celebrating their global ambassador and will be handing out some dope shirts. This also gives the announcers a reason to reference every Drake lyric they know.

Jonas Valanciunas has taken another step forward. The third year big man from Lithuania is getting to the free throw line more often and is shooting a career high 81 percent from the charity stripe. The overwhelming majority of his shot attempts come from inside the restricted area, and he's shooting 57.1 percent on those shots. Mason Plumlee is similar to JV in that regard, and once again he'll be starting at center. After a rough start to the season, he's begun to settle into a nice groove. It's kind of similar to what took place last season, and we'll have to keep a close eye on his progress when Lopez gets back.

The Joe Johnson and Terrence Ross matchup should be interesting. Johnson has played decently since missing two games due to a stomach virus. He's regained his touch from deep since returning, making 10 of his last 19 three point attempts. Ross has played well and will draw the initial assignment of covering Johnson. Johnson had a pretty great series against Toronto in the playoffs last year, and he was able to do a lot of damage in the low post. Look for Toronto to throw a bunch of double teams his way.

I didn't know this until I checked, but Landry Fields is still in the league. He'll play around 23 minutes and sixth man Lou Williams will play the rest.

Player to watch: Kyle Lowry

After an All Star caliber 2013-2014 campaign, Lowry signed a four year, $48 million contract extension. Two months in, that is looking like a steal. He's having a terrific all around season, averaging 19.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in almost 35 minutes a game. He's only shooting 43.6 percent from the field, but he has made up for it by getting to the free throw line more than he did last season. Surprisingly (well, to me at least), the Raptors are six points per 100 possessions better defensively when Lowry is out of the game. That number will

Deron Williams is still struggling with his shot, but his passing hasn't suffered much. He crossed the double digit mark in assists for the third consecutive game, but didn't have the best of endings against Miami. Ball control is going to be essential in this contest. The Raptors are sixth best at forcing turnovers in the league. Lowry is the team leader in steals and Deron will have to keep that in mind when handling the ball. They matchup similarly so any advantage Williams usually has in the post is negated by Lowry. Williams played 38 minutes last night against Miami, so look for Jarrett Jack to see a bump in minutes, especially if Karasev is out.

From the Vault

Game Seven. One point game. 8.8 seconds to go. You know the rest...

More reading: Raptors HQ