Saturday, January 11, 2014
W2W4: Nets at Raptors
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets will look to make it six in a row Saturday night in Toronto when they face the Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
WHO PLAYS? The Nets (15-21) will be already be without Deron Williams. Will coach Jason Kidd elect to sit Kevin Garnett and/or Shaun Livingston, who both played major minutes in Friday night’s double-overtime victory over the Miami Heat? It’s very possible guys like Mason Plumlee, Reggie Evans and Tyshawn Taylor could see more time.
D IT UP: During their 5-0 January run, the Nets are giving up just 97.9 points per 100 possessions and 42.7 percent shooting. Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Livingston have all been vital contributors on the defensive end of the floor.
RAPTOR RAP: The Raptors started off 7-13, but are now 17-17 and currently occupy the top spot in the Atlantic Division. Toronto lost tight games in Miami and Indiana before beating the Pistons by 21 on Wednesday at home. Trading Rudy Gay sure worked wonders for the Raptors (10-5 since), though that’s probably not how GM Masai Ujiri planned it.
Toronto has plenty of young guns in DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross. Ross is averaging 13.1 points and shooting 46.1 percent from 3-point range since the Gay deal. The Nets beat the Raptors in Toronto on Nov. 26.