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Nets try to avoid the sweep vs the Raptors in Game 4

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Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images

It’s just one of those days. The Brooklyn Nets went into Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors looking to snag a win so they could get back into the series. However, things went south quickly and they got cleaned up by 25 points on Friday afternoon. Now, they’re going to try to avoid getting the broom to end a thoroughly weird 2019-2020 season.

The Toronto Raptors are looking to wrap things up fast so they can rest up for the next round. Read about Game 3 from the champs’ perspective here.

Where to follow the game

YES Network and WFAN 101.9 FM for us, TNT for the national crew. It’s gonna be a nice Sunday evening so grab your favorite beverage and get settled in as we’re gonna get going after 6:30.

Injuries

No Joe Harris or Jamal Crawford.

All the Raptors are good to go.

The game

When you go cold from 3-point range, life becomes very, very difficult. Brooklyn went 16-51 while the Raps went 18-38. After a great start to the series, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot only went 2-11 from deep and 3-18 overall. Without Harris, TLC has to be the team’s sharpshooter from deep and if the shots aren’t falling, a difficult task becomes almost impossible for Jacque Vaughn’s squad.

As the Raptors look to go on a deep run, OG Anunoby will be a key part of their championship dreams. Here’s more from Brandon Anderson of Sports Raid:

OG was never going to replace Kawhi’s scoring, but he’s been just as nasty a defender. Anunoby has quickly become one of the league’s elite 3-and-D guys, and though he doesn’t score much, hitting 38% of his threes will do just fine. But it’s his defense that could change the playoffs. Anunoby would likely get Jayson Tatum in the ECS, Giannis after that, and LeBron or Kawhi in the Finals. If Toronto is still playing then, it will have a whole lot to do with OG’s stifling and versatile perimeter defense.

He and the other Raptors have made life hard on Caris Levert. Of Levert’s 14 shot attempts on Friday, only two came at the rim and he didn’t attempt a single free throw. The Raptors have a bushel of excellent defenders that present problems for Levert and make it hard for him to get clean looks. That’s life when you’re the star of the show.

You know it’s not your day when this happens to you:

Shouts to Fred Van Vleet, though.

Jacque Vaughn, knowing the possibilities, told reporters Saturday how he hopes his team embraces the present.

“I hope our group embraces the now the moment that they’re in,” Vaughn said. “We don’t know what this thing is going to look like a month, a year, two years from now, so you have moments in your life that you can hold onto. We can embrace this time and you never know what happens if you win one game.”

Player to watch: Serge Ibaka

If you’re able to get through the Raptors perimeter defenders, Ibaka will be waiting for you at the rim. He’s not the prolific shot blocker he was back in the Oklahoma City days, but he’s still a pretty solid rim deterrent. During the regular season, opponents only shot 51.5 percent on shots inside of six feet when Ibaka was defending them. Having someone like Ibaka who can switch out onto guards, protect the rim, and be a net positive on offense allows for so much versatility in what Nick Nurse tries out and will be crucial for the Raps as they look to go deeper in the playoffs.

Jarrett Allen didn’t get a shot attempt on Friday, but he was still busy out there. He grabbed 17 rebounds and as the only big in the regular rotation, a lot is riding on his young shoulders. He’s outplayed Marc Gasol, but the Raps have devised various strategies to limit Allen’s effectiveness. With the season on the line, we’ll see what Jacque Vaughn is able to cook up to keep his young center involved.

From the Vault

Mamba forever

More reading: Raptors HQ