Can we please just pretend like Tuesday night’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers never happened? The Brooklyn Nets went into Philly - who played without James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid - and played like the lesser of the two teams.
One night later, they’re in Toronto to take on the Raptors ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Raptors aren’t playing all that much better, but they are 6-1 at home this season and finally getting healthy.
Not sure what to expect in this one, but hopefully we get to at least see a better effort than we saw on Tuesday night.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (8-10) at Toronto Raptors (9-8)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. est
WHERE: YES Network (tv and app), WFAN-FM (radio)
Now the Nets are really up against it. Because this pre-Thanksgiving back-to-back was an early Christmas present, in terms of opponents. A combination of the 76ers and Raptors rosters would be missing, what, six of its eight best players? Something like that? 2-0 could have been in the cards, but 1-1 would have been acceptable, extenuating circumstances notwithstanding. But Brooklyn dropped a game to Philly’s B-team, went to sleep at about 4 a.m., and have to wake up and play a hellacious team that still features Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby. 0-2 on this back-to-back is staring them right in the face.
The good news is that Ben Simmons continues to trend upwards. That’s not exactly surprising; everyone involved knew it would take some time for Simmons to regain form after nearly a year-and-a-half of no basketball. It was difficult, though, to keep that perspective when Simmons was putting up triple-singles every night and grabbing at his back. Anybody can remain rational and calm when analyzing an 82-game season that’s yet to tip off, but immediate results seem much more important when you’re losing to the Indiana Pacers in the fourth quarter.
But Simmons’ second double-double of the season — 11 points and 11 rebounds plus seven assists — was one of the only bright-spots for Brooklyn. The boos (which were underwhelming at best, given all the vitriol from Philly fans) barely made a dent in his armor. Sure, he missed a couple free throws, but given Durant and Irving’s poor defensive efforts, you can credibly say Simmons was the best Net on the floor in his Philly return.
For more on the Raptors, check out Raptors HQ.