The Nets nightmare of a season is almost done. Brooklyn's finale is tonight against the Raptors who are the Atlantic division champions for the third consecutive season. Heading into tonight's game, the Raptors have a franchise record 55 wins.
The Nets on the other hand, have reached the 60 loss plateau for the first time since the 2009-10 season and the fifth time in franchise history. The Nets are on a nine-game losing streak, losing eight of those nine games by double digits. Brooklyn lost by only nine points on Monday so that's progress, right?
The Nets have a realistic chance to end the season with a win because Toronto will most likely play their starters minimally with their playoff matchup with Indiana already sealed.
With the season ending, the next issue is whether it will be followed by an even worse offseason. Ownership and management are reportedly in Brooklyn for end-of-the-season meetings and planning sessions.
Where to follow the game?
Thanks to the Yankees, the game won't be on YES Network. Click here to see all the information on where to follow the game.
The Nets will be without Thomas Robinson who also missed Monday's game with a knee injury. Willie Reed left the team due to personal reasons and Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young are out due to rest. Jarrett Jack remains sidelined with a torn ACL.
For the Raptors, DeMarre Carroll isn't going to play due to rest, while Delon Wright(hip), and James Johnson are questionable. Who gets rest won't be known until closer to game time.
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Player to watch: Norman Powell
With the Raptors starters either not playing at all or playing in a slim amount of minutes, players like Norman Powell will get a chance to play in a big chunk of minutes.
Powell has started in more games this season (23) than any other 2015 second round pick. Powell is coming off of an 18 point performance last night versus the 76ers.
In his last 10 games, Powell is averaging 13 points and shooting 48 percent from the field in 30 minutes per game. For Nets fans who haven't seen Powell, you'll most likely see a lot of him tonight.
Nets X-factor: Shane Larkin
Shane Larkin has been the definition of inconsistent this season. Larkin has been unable to play at his best consistently which has made it hard for the Nets to decide if he has a spot on the team in the future.
On Monday versus the Wizards, Larkin had a great game. Larkin scored 20 points while grabbing 6 rebounds and 7 assists in 30 minutes of action. Every game is important for Larkin who has a player option that he can opt out of and make more money in free agency.
This game is simply for pride, the Nets don't want to go into the off-season knowing that they lost 10 games in a row. If Brooklyn wants to grab a win they will need a big performance from Larkin.
Raptors X-factor: Cory Joseph
Cory Joseph will likely see the majority of minutes as the Raptors point guard tonight. Kyle Lowry likely won't be used too often so he can be rested for the playoffs, so his backup Joseph will be on the court a lot.
Joseph, 24 is in his fifth NBA season and it's his first not on the Spurs. Joseph is averaging 8.5 points and 3.1 assists in 26 minutes per game this season.
In a start last Friday versus the Pacers, Joseph scored 18 points and had 9 assists while shooting 6-of-6 from the field. Joseph is going to have a big impact on tonight's game.
From the vault
Toronto newspapers called him a dinosaur, people thought he was washed up, but Paul Pierce let the truth be known in game 1 of the Nets series versus the Raptors. He let all of Toronto know why the Nets 'got him here.'
More reading: Raptors HQ
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Toronto Raptors Game Notes - Toronto Raptors
- Raptors-Nets Preview - Paul DiGiacomo - STATS LLC
- Can the woeful Nets muster any effort for their season finale? - Brian Lewis = New York Post
- Nets reach end of a disappointing season - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Marks making the right call for rebuilding Brooklyn Nets - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner