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Nets look to get a W in must-win game against Raptors

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Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Two Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s the close ones that always hurt the most. The Brooklyn Nets were in it to win it against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday afternoon, but the game slipped away from them in the final seconds and suffered a tough, tough loss. Life is cruel that way.

Making it crueler was the L2M Report, the league office agreed with Garrett Temple that a foul should’ve been called on the final possession...

Everybody’s stuck in Florida so the Raptors are there, too. Our friends at Raptors HQ took a look at Game two from their perspective.

Where to follow the game

YES Network and WFAN 101.9 FM for the locals, NBATV for the outsiders. We’re batting leadoff so tip off is after 1:30.

Injuries

Joe Harris had to leave the bubble to tend to a family emergency. We wish him and his folks the best. Jamal Crawford remains out with a strained hamstring.

Oshae Brissett is out for this one.

The game

Going into Game two, we talked about what happened to Raptors GM Masai Ujiri, who was shoved by a cop in Oakland at the end of the NBA Finals. We saw video footage of the incident and Ujiri released this statement as well:

As more comes from this, we’ll keep you posted.

The last two minute report came out, and it looks like the Nets got the bad end of the referee’s whistle. Eek.

The Nets made one big adjustment in Game Two by inserting Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot into the starting five, and it worked out pretty well. Although TLC only went 3-10 from deep, having another threat from deep opens everything up for Brooklyn and makes their offense more effective. Now that Harris is gone, Jacque Vaughn will have to make do without his team’s best 3-point shooter and one of their initiators on offense. Tyler Johnson might be the player off the bench that sees an uptick in minutes to offset the loss of Harris, and we might see Rodions Kurucs reinserted into the starting five. Rodi might need to avoid pissing OG Anunoby off again though. Just a thought.

Toronto was able to make some adjustments in the fourth and Nick Nurse talked about it after the game:

“You do a little more cutting and a lot less setting of screens. Then we just try to stay away from ball screens, too. We tried to run some more off-ball, pin down actions and quite a few set plays. We usually like to play a pretty open concept type offense but tonight we were calling a lot of plays just to move ‘em around and create a bunch of switches before we attacked the paint.”

Toronto’s depth up and down the roster has been a key part of their title defense, and Game two helped show just how valuable they are. Norman Powell scored 24 off the bench including the game sealing dunk after the Nets turned it over late.

Jarrett Allen is looking good out there. He outplayed Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka en route to a double double (plus five assists) in 40 minutes. Allen provides the Nets with good rim protection, tons of energy, and is getting better as a passer by the day. This series has been a great proving ground for Allen and with the Nets being undersized, his growth has taken on even more importance.

Player to watch: Pascal Siakam

It hasn’t been the best showing on offense for Toronto’s leading man two games, but he’s definitely doing others and helping key Toronto’s defensive attack. For a young star like Siakam, being able to be a reliable scorer, good passer, and ace defender allows you to always be engaged and making an impact somewhere.

All eyes are on Caris Levert, and even more so now that Harris out as well. The shot isn’t there so far, but his playmaking has been A+ so far as he put together another double digit assist game. He played 39 minutes on Wednesday and it feels like he might have to go 40+ from here on out. As long as he’s aggressive and finding good shots, he’ll keep the Nets in it.

From the Vault

Vince Carter? Yeah we can do that

More reading: Raptors HQ