Thursday, April 24, 2014
Raptors not worried about Brooklyn crowd
By Ohm Youngmisuk
NEW YORK –- Masai Ujiri will be at Barclays for Game 3 in Brooklyn.
He could sit in the stands or move between the locker room and the tunnel -- something he sometimes does at games.
What kind of reception the Toronto Raptors and their general manager receive from the crowd, though, remains to be seen.
DeMar DeRozan is not concerned about what Kevin Garnett has to say.
“I told him I wasn’t going to sit next to him or anything like that,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey cracked Thursday. “But he’s fine. He has seen a lot. He is going to be OK.”
Ujiri will likely be Public Enemy No. 1 on Friday night at Barclays Center. Ujiri made the now infamous “F--- Brooklyn!” rally cry to Raptors fans before Game 1 outside Air Canada Centre.
Kevin Garnett has spent the past couple of days planting the seed for Nets fans to come out and respond to Ujiri’s expletive and make the young and inexperienced Raptors as uncomfortable as possible.
Toronto knows what it's like to win a playoff game after taking Game 2. But now the Raptors must try to win a postseason game on the road.
“Again we are not a finished product,” Casey said after practice at Barclays Center. “We are young, still learning. A lot of guys are seeing a lot of first-time situations.
“Our guys have been pretty resilient on the road,” Casey added. “[They] have a resolve of being together in a hostile atmosphere.”
The Raptors were 22-19 on the road this season and won in places like Memphis, Oklahoma City and Brooklyn, 104-103 back on Jan. 27.
After the Nets dropped Game 2, Garnett said, “I don’t know if you can say ‘F Brooklyn’ and then come into Brooklyn. So we’re about to see what it’s like.”
The young Raptors didn’t take any issue with Garnett’s comments.
“I don’t care what he says honestly,” DeMar DeRozan said. “I don’t care. He’s been talking trash way before I’ve been in the league and he is going to talk trash when he is out of the league and I am out of the league. That’s him.”
When a reporter described Garnett as a bully to Kyle Lowry, the Raptors point guard disagreed.
“Ain’t no bullies in the NBA,” Lowry said. “I’m a grown man. I’m not going to be bullied. Everybody in the NBA are grown men. People aren’t going to be bullied.”
And if the Brooklyn crowd tries to bully the Raptors, Lowry thinks his team will respond just fine.
“I don’t think we are going to be intimidated by anybody,” Lowry said.