Grab the Opening-Tip where you will learn the sad-sad thing both the Raptors and Nets have in common.

Trailing the season series 2-1, the Raptors head into Garden State hoping to tie things up and regain some pride that VC & Co. stole when they did this:

I hate the Nets, dating back to Babcock getting fleeced out of our franchise. It upsts me to no end that this team is better us at this point of the season. Have to give up to Thorn, Vandaweghe and Frank…upsets me…

laura

Fresh off a loss to the Thunder on Monday, the Nets are a miserable 3-7 i their last 10, which still has them a half game removed from the priviledge of be thumped in the first round. In fact, prior to their 3-7 run, they were a respectable 17-18. There is hope for them, and his name is Devin Harris – best point guard in the East by my estimation (let the hate mail roll in). VC not getting a coaches selection is one thing, but Harris missing out would be a shame.

The Raptors are also 3-7 in their ln their last 10 with one exception – 2 wins in a row. The kool-aid is flowing in the Tdot. Jose is healthy for the first time this season and O’Neal is healthy like never before. This was the team BC thought he put together when declaring it the greatest of all time…2 wins in a row (3 wins in a row is the longest win streak of the season).

Regardless, JC has been killing it since coming back: 19.5pts 9asts 0to 79% fg 67% 3pt in only 28:22 minutes a game. Parker’s emergence at the point gives JC the rest he needs without having to rush back prematurely to save us all from the exploits of Solomon and the inexperience of Ukic, I hope he doesn’t get traded (unless we get a young athletic wing who can help a bit now and has huge upside). The key here is that Jose’s All-Star-like production is coming at under 30 minutes, which works out great as heavy minutes wears Jose down like the rail does AltRaps.

Speaking of the rail, gotta love Laura here…captain of the Nets dancers, Economist by education and dental assistant by trade.

Injury Report

Raptors:
Kris Humphries

Nets:
Yi Jianlin
Stromile Swift

The Matchups

Calderon vs Harris
The Edge: Even
– for all the good Jose does on the offensive end, his defense is still suspect, and Harris will be ready to exploit him off the bounce. I fully expect to see stretches where Parker gets the nod, and will play off him and force Harris to shoot over him. The key will be to keep the youngin’ out of the paint, limiting his options to shooting or swinging the ball around the perimeter.

Parker vs Carter
The Edge: Carter
– Please refer to the video above.

Moon vs Simmons
The Edge: Simmons
– This is more a condemnation of Moon then endorsement of Simmons. Moon is in serious cruise control lately, and hasn’t been cutting it on either end of the court. I suspect that Joey will get nod to start, which would be the right move here.

Bosh vs Anderson
The Edge: Bosh
– lol…the Nets rookie has been playing pretty good, but that is relative. Bosh should use and abuse this kid. I’m actually looking for Bosh to make his mark on the boards, an area of his game that has taken a dip in recent games.

Bargnani vs Lopez
The Edge: VL
– They both have been playing very well lately. Lopez will give VL nuff trouble in the hustle department, and will battle hard on the boards. I expect Barny will have to box him out more then he normally does to limit his effectiveness around the basket, don’t want Lopez picking up any of those cheap points on put backs and garbage buckets. On the offensive end, expect to see Barny rain down the treys as Lopez wont be much of a problem out on the perimeter.

The Line

VegasInsider.com has this as PK -110, which I don’t know what it means exactly, but can only assume this game is equal odds…anyone?

Prediction

I have two voices in my head talking to me about this game:

Glass Half-Full – The Raptors will continue their spirited play, and extend the win streak to three and looking to avoid losing the season series.
Glass Half-Empty – VC will win the game off a rare 4 point play at the buzzer.

A cop-out I know, but I’m going the half-empty route.

Free Ukic!

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