Wednesday, April 30, 2014
W2W4: Nets at Raptors, Game 5
By Ohm Youngmisuk
TORONTO –- The buzz word on the morning of Game 5 for the Nets is “execute.”
Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and Jason Kidd all mentioned the word enough at shootaround to make you think that they’ve drilled it in their heads over the past two days.
Here’s what to watch for in Game 5:
Fourth-coming: The Nets must redeem themselves for an awful fourth quarter in Game 4. They scored 12 points, shot 3-for-17 and didn’t score a point in the final 4:57 to lose 87-79.
If the Nets are going to win this series, they have to steal at least one more game in Toronto, and that is going to require exceptional fourth-quarter play. The Nets have to close out games better.
Will the real D-Will please stand up: Williams knows exactly what he has to do in Game 5. The Nets need super aggressive Deron to show up or risk returning to Brooklyn with their season on the brink.
Williams is averaging 23 points in the Nets’ two wins in this series. The Nets need Deron to set the tone early, maintain it and play Kyle Lowry evenly or even outplay the Raptors’ point guard.
Kidd said Williams needs to come with high energy and sustain it. In other words, Williams has to be in attack mode and not let that fade.
DeStar DeRozan: Since scoring just 14 points in Game 1, DeMar DeRozan is averaging 28 points over the past three games.
“DeRozan is causing havoc as an All-Star,” Garnett said at shootaround. “We respect that.”
Part of the Nets' improved fourth-quarter execution will have to involve slowing DeRozan down the stretch, keeping him off the free-throw line and not allowing him to get hot.
Help needed: Joe Johnson was limited to seven points and seven shots in Game 4, thanks in part to some timely doubles from Dwane Casey’s Raptors.
The Nets have to find a way to free Johnson from the defensive attention and give him more help when he is doubled. Most of all, the Nets need to hit their shots when Johnson makes the right pass out of a double.
Brooklyn must get Johnson more than seven shots and find easier baskets for him before the double comes. Johnson averaged 26.5 points in the Nets’ two wins.
Jurassic Park: These are the type of games the Nets got Paul Pierce and Garnett for.
Pierce and Garnett were labeled dinosaurs by a Toronto newspaper before the series began. But their valuable playoff experience is needed now to lead the way in a pivotal series-turning game like this one tonight.
After scoring nine points and delivering daggers in the fourth to help steal Game 1 here, Pierce said wanting and hitting pressure shots was in his DNA.
The Nets can use some serious Dino DNA tonight.