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Headed to Brooklyn, Nets need to solve rebounding issue

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Claus Andersen

Does "long ball" have its limits?  While the Nets have played (reasonably) good defense and hold a 2-to-1 advantage in turnovers (37-18) so far, their smaller lineups are getting hammeredon the boards by the Raptors . In two games, the Raptors hold a 97-67 edge in rebounding.  In Game 2, the disparity was extreme. The Raptors had as many offensive rebounds (19) as the Nets did on the defensive boards. That doesn't happen often.

The issue is easy to see: the Raptors are bigger, younger and more athletic upfront. So, the Nets will have to compensate in other areas.

"We know we’re a bigger team. We’re a more athletic team. So getting outrebounded by them is inexcusable," Patrick Patterson said. "We know that’s one area we’re better at and we can take advantage of."

Dwane Casey declined to call the Toronto edge dominant, perhaps out of fear that the "D" word would be splashed all over the tabloid back pages and shown flashing on sports websites.

"I wouldn’t call it a dominance," Casey said. "I call it taking advantage of certain situations."

Jason Kidd said he didn't see a big problem, particularly with Paul Pierce giving up so much size at PF.

''Paul's doing every right. The game of basketball is about making shots and sometimes you make them and sometimes you don't. So Paul, I think, has had two good games,'' Kidd said Wednesday on a conference call.

Meanwhile, the Raptors said they understood the Brooklyn crowd will be in high gear Friday night  But at least one Raptor writer, Cathal Kelly dismissed the crowd, calling them, "a visiting collection of Park Slope arrivistes and yuppies that last heard 'The Blueprint' at a wine bar,". That conveniently dismisses those fans who live well beyond the hipster districts in the borough's vast expanse ... and form the biggest, loudest contingent of fans at Barclays. He'll learn.