According to Sheridan Hoops:

“Noah just wills that team and they find a way to win,” the Eastern Conference executive told SheridanHoops. “Noah is a game-changer. Toronto doesn’t have a game-changer.”

“My first impression would be the Raptors because they have less experience, not as good of a coach and the matchups are better,” the scout told SheridanHoops.

So apparently:

  • Nets are scared of the Bulls
  • Nets would rather face the Raptors who have less playoff experience
  • Nets think Casey’s not as good as a coach as Thibodeau, and would find the matchup easier

I remember in 2006-07 when the Raptors were looking to avoid the Nets on account of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson even though they had won the season series 3-1. Now, though, I’m not sure these Nets are as scary. In truth, the Raptors would have a coaching advantage in this matchup and I would actually count that as a tipping point.

What scares me is the officials. The NBA would no doubt like the Nets and their “star power” to advance to the second round, perhaps fancying a matchup with Indiana or Miami. That would be a lot more appealing than having the Raptors in the second-round. That, unfortunately, is the reason I would like to avoid facing the Nets.

  • Bigfaceless

    So the fix is in and the first round hasn’t even started yet?

    • Chewwy No Matthew

      I feel that the officiating concerns are justified. I have watched wayyyy too many playoff series get decided because officials make calls differently based on what team and what player. Remember the shit Wade got away with in the playoffs both when they won their first title with Shaq and two years ago against Indiana. The league is not that much better. If you remember Wade should have been suspended for the dirty play against Collison in the playoffs two years ago and nothing was done. Should have been kicked out of the game and suspended. I hope I’m wrong and the games are officiated fairly but I’m not confident in that

      • Ghotte

        It’s not about a fix and more to do with officials giving players the benefit of the doubt on a given play. If someone blows on Pierce and he flails his arms, the refs might perceive he got fouled evidence to the contrary.

  • Alexey Ots

    Fuck the NETS, they are aging slackers with a wanna be coach. When an old School built team rolls into them, look out. The Raptors play like an 80’s NBA team. Defense and team first. The nets are just Miami lite.

    • or nah

      They bought and traded for their all stars. Raps have grown their talent in DD, Ross, Val. We’ve only traded for Johnson and Lowry and they both won’t considered amazing players when they were brought in.

  • Raptorguy

    We actually wen 2-2 in the reason series in 20006/07

  • Steve

    Raptors don’t have a game changer? Then obviously they haven’t heard the name Kyle Lowry before,smh. Raps will take care of business as long as we hold on to home court advantage

    • ad

      Yep, Id say lowry is just as impactful as Noah.

  • mountio

    Nets are scared of the Bulls – they should be. Im scared of the Bulls too. Most playoff experience and best coach by a landslide of Raps, Bulls, Wash, Brooklyn
    Nets would rather face the Raptors who have less playoff experience – fact
    Nets think Casey’s not as good as a coach as Thibodeau, and would find the matchup easier – massively true fact. Casey might be closer to a draw with Kidd (very bad in game coach) or Wittman (unproven) – but its not even close to a fair fight vs Thibs.
    I think the bottom line is if I was sitting in either Chi or Brooklyn, Id be hoping for the Raps or the Wiz too. Throw in that we have been struggling to beat the likes of Boston lately and momentum isnt exactly on our side.

    Having said all that, I think the Raps (especially with 2Pat back) beat any three of these teams and have a shot if they get to Indy (no chance whatsoever vs Miami) – so bring it on ….

  • mike, prague


  • michael

    The Refs are exactly it. I won’t be able to stand watching PP get a foul on him every time he breaths. The Raptors are more talented, better coached and younger. Yes they don’t have experience, but who cares. The outside variables all favour the Nets however (NBA, TV, refs, public perception, oddsmakers) and we all know they have a lot of pull come playoff time. Funny thing is, for pure basketball enjoyment, a Raps-Heat or Raps Pacer matchup would be far more enjoyable than watching those washed up former Celtics bitch and moan for 2.5 hours.

    • ad

      I really wouldnt call the raps more talented. Raps have lowry as their most talented player. He is a very good basketball player but after him the talent falls off a cliff. Nets have tons of depth, experience and talent. Bad matchup. The part about the refs is also valid most likely having watched the nba for many years.

      • jjdynomite

        “talent falls off a cliff”…? And yet the Raps clinched the playoffs before your “talent”ed Nets? GTFOH.

        • ad

          Playoffs is a totally different animal. The old farts on the nets will be motivated. BTW, the nets have had the best record in the east in the last 40 games I believe. 28-12 or some shit like that.

          • Chewwy No Matthew

            The Raptors are 25-15 in their last 40 games so not that big a difference and nothing for the Raptors to be concerned or embarrassed about. Also the Raptors have not lost more than 2 games in a row since the Rudy Gay trade so there is a lot of positive consistency there

          • IC

            Ok so old farts who have been there done that will be motivated but the young team starved of the playoffs for multiple seasons will not. Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

          • JRedmond14

            The old farts will barely have anything left in the tank come playoff time….

      • R.U. Serious

        “Falls off the cliff”…Bahahahahahahaha!!! How long you been watching Raps ball? Funny how people will say how shit we were this year and last, how “easy” we got it because of injury-plagued conference. Yet, we beat almost, if not all, all the top teams, period. Smh. Lowry has outshined almost all PGs in the league, this year. DeRozan is top 9th scorer in the league. Amir is a beast. You’re wack, dude. Lmao

        • ad

          Ok im wack and your like 12. Also dont fucking tell me DD is 9th scorer in league. How many shots does that guy take? Hes a decent player but he will get destroyed in playoffs by teams with good d. I like Amir but hes not a beast lol. Maybe sometimes. Lowry is the teams “superstar”.

          • IC

            Talent falls off a cliff but the team is one of the best defensive trams in the league so how do you measure talent? Sure if you want a bunch of offensive powerhouses yeah the raps are lacking but they make up for it with defense. And even if DD shoots a lot he has the ability to turn it on and be very streaky same goes for ross, Vasquez 2 pat. Don’t underestimate this squad. They’ve been playing well against top teams and away from home.

      • Junior Qamar

        Teletovic scares me. Hes the least talked about player on the nets. Yet hes probably very dangerous in a 7 game series, id try to avoid the nets. But if we did play the nets I see no way they getting by the RAPTORS!!! Were underrating our own talent people.

        • Gusser

          Completely agree on Teletovic. He is a very tough match up, with a wide variety of skills.

      • JRedmond14

        If the Raptors talent falls off the cliff, maybe they can meet the Brooklyn Nets at the bottom of said cliff. Everyone on that team is past their prime, fat(see: Blatche, Andre and Williams, Deron), or just plain garbage. IMO the Raps have one of the best starting point guards, one of the best scorers and SGs, two of the best sophmores, and the best glue guy in the league at PF, just in the starting lineup. Not many teams get to 40 wins with just a good basketball player. Nets have experience but I watch the Raptors play and they just have the will to win. So bring on the Nets! Raps in 4!!!!

    • Mexiballer

      I love the Raptors but they are not more talented than the nets. The Nets have five all stars.

      • Abused Raptors Fan

        More accurate to say they have 5 players who’ve been allstars. As I recall, Johnson was the only Net to make it this year, and his selection was considered by many to be one of the most controversial in recent memory

        • Mexiballer

          Yes…more accurate. Still… they do have the talent with so many options when it comes to making a big shot at the end of a close playoff game. We struggle with that and of course often a playoff series comes down to who is able to win those close games. I am glad to see that we now go with the ball in Lowrys hands at the end of the game instead of running the iso for Demar. At least that gives us a chance for him to make a play.

      • Ryan

        I like when fans can be rational. Even at 37 PP is better than DD. Williams is better than Lowry. Johnson is better than Ross. Garnett is better than Johnson. All matchup favour the Nets not to mention an overwhelming amount of experience the Nets have to rely on. Yes, Nets starters have had injury problems this season but a few games rest before playoffs once seeds are settled will be hard for Raptors to overcome. I hope I eat my words and Raptors make it in to second round.

        • Mexiballer

          I hope we both eat our words. Im not saying the Raptors cant beat the Nets in a seven game series. Im saying they are definitely out talented and would have to play at a very high level to have a chance. Especially the bench. Salmons, Hayes and Vasquez all have to play better than they have been playing, and do it consistently if they expect to beat the more talented teams in the playoffs.

        • JRedmond14

          Is this a joke? Paul Pierce is no where near better than DD. Williams was once better than Lowry but not this year. Last time Raps faced nets, Livingston had to guard Lowry because Lowry kept blowing by D Will’s fat ass. Garnett hasn’t played in March and when he did pla he was garbage. J. Johnson definitely better on offense than Ross but he plays crap defense. Big Val over any Brooklyn Big. Raps bench is also way better than anything Brooklyn has coming off their bench. Energy and will to win is a lot more important than experience in the playoffs IMO

      • DryDry

        This is as dumb as saying the Warriors have an all star in Jermaine O’Neal.

  • Quest

    i agree, Raps vs the wiz all the way! Raps in 5

  • ad

    Raps need to avoid the nets. Thats a baaadddd matchup for them. Nets have tons of (former) all stars and playoff experience. Casey is a better coach than kidd but not by a lot. They would get the calls too because of their reputation. Best matchup by far is WSH. In fact, I would rather play CHI than BKN to be honest. Chicago’s offense doesnt scare me at all. Defense can be suffocating but raps have learned to play that grind it out style. They have physical players on their roster now that they didnt have in previous years.

    • ad

      Just to add to that. Do you know who CHI’s starting pg is?? DJ Augustin!! Yea so the only part that worries me about chi is the significant coaching advantage.

      • mountio

        Thibs and Noah. I agree the rest of the team doesnt seem very daunting … but its amazing how far a great coach and a great leader (which those two both certainly are) can take you. Looking at the matchups, I agree Brook seems scarier … but I just want no part of those two in chi town

        • ad

          Oh yeah I forgot how boozer always kills us too but casey needs to put hayes on him I think. Val on noah isnt the worst matchup either if val is motivated and plays with energy.

  • michael

    Yeah, you are probably right. The Nets are a talented bunch, I tend to overlook it because I hate most of them.

    • Mexiballer

      I hear you there. Its one of the reason I would like to play them. Just to beat their ass.

  • JHP

    Well sometimes the truth hurts. I can agree with most statements and until proven wrong they are true. Let’s enjoy the team for what it is and hope for an even more successful team next year. At least we now have draft picks and have made the playoffs. Two things lacking with the last GM.

  • Reed

    Well Jason Kidd outcoached Casey last game we face them. This is probably the only match up where the Nets can realistically win the coaching battle.

    Also the Nets know that Casey likes to match small ball lineups and probably would like to see more of Steve Novak than Jonas Val.

    • Schuyler Leenhouts

      Nets BARELY escaped the last game with a W, IMO we have a much better fast break and athleticism, if we shut down the Nets perimeter game we have a good chance to beat them if you ask me.

      • Reed

        We have the better team, but the worse coach. Casey has to be one of the worst coaches in the league. Whats even worse is that this is his 3rd season and hes been an assistant for years.

        For Kidd to be even remotely close to Casey in terms of coaching shows how truly horrible Casey is.

  • Guest

    I have no choice but to agree with the comment about the refereeing. My gut says the calls would also be more likely to go against us if we face CHI, another big American market with a star the league would like to push. When DeMar is taking 10 FT per game, it’s especially relevant.

    • Stephen

      The market is one thing, but Rose isn’t going to swing the ratings much dressed in a suit on the sidelines.

      (I don’t think the NBA cares to push Noah as a top-tier guy)

  • Mexiballer

    If I were the Nets I would rather play the Raptors than the Bulls also. I would think almost any team in NBA would. The bulls are relentless. They do lack big time scoring with Rose out and Deng gone. Because of that they may have problems scoring in close late game situations against the better teams.

  • golden

    Saying Thibs is a better coach than Casey is a slag? Or simply a fact.

    • Chewwy No Matthew

      All three points are actual facts. The Bulls have playoff experience, are tough to play against and have one of the best coaches in the league. I don’t take them as slags. I would prefer to avoid the Nets based on experience and the officials.

  • Age

    He may be right about this year…..but i wouldnt trade our roster, salary cap, and coach for theirs any day. We are younger and have half their salary cap next year and 25% of their salaries the year after.
    All on aged players (joe johnson, deron williams and kevin garnett)
    We have a MUCH brighter future than these guys.
    Let this year be a stepping stone to experience and adding more to our core (lowry, derozan, ross, JV, amir, 2p and vasquez).

    • Stephen

      The problem becomes what happens if things don’t go to plan. Remember last time they won the division – a quick screwup against the Nets and it was all “oh, well, we’ll be better next year, we’re still the best team in the division.”

      Then the Raps’ largely set roster got completely passed by as Boston brought in Allen and KG, and suddenly they’re getting squished by the Magic and wasting Bosh’s tenure.

      As much as their future looks better than some teams… you have to be careful. A lot of times, the future is just an illusion.

  • Schuyler Leenhouts

    I’m alright with either match-up, the Raps have had a good season and play as a team, I think we could surprise a lot of people and come out of the first round. There isn’t the same pressure on the Raptors as there is on the Bulls or Nets, nobody expected us to even make the playoffs.

  • Transcendant Man

    As the old adage goes: “anything can happen in the post season”. The playoff brackets in the east are just to hard to call this year, any team can beat anyone that’s what makes this one of the best years in recent memory.

  • Alexey Ots

    It won’t matter raps will play wizards in first round then get heat or pacers next. nets will play chicago in first round and lose.

  • robertparish00

    The Raptors would much rather face the Krem-lyn Nets than the Bulls. Big deal.

  • Ghotte

    Asked a different way: Do the Raptors stand to gain more experience playing the playoff savvy Nets or the Bulls’ suffocating defense?

    I’d choose Chi by that criteria although I can see a favourable situation where they try to impose their will and younger energy on the aging Nets.

  • Reed

    Is there even 5 coaches worse than Casey in the NBA??

    • Pedro-

      I find this disrespect towards Casey ignorant and misplaced. Here is a guy who is being considered for coach of the year, who has managed to lead a team to its first playoff in 6 years while the so called experts and the media gave his team no chance. Some fans need to stop their nauseating negativity and insecurity. This team (lead by DC) has demonstrated that it can compete with anyone. Enjoy the success and show some respect.

      • Stephen

        Even if you defend him, you have to admit that there’s been some downright insane / baffling decision making coming from the sidelines.

      • Reed

        This team is lead by Lowry. Why do people forget the first 18 games where it was lead by Rudy Gay??? Or last season where the team was initially led by Bargnani?

        This coach has no leadership qualities and is constantly under the whim of the star players. Remember season 1 with Casey where it was Jose Calderon who carried the offense?

        I’ll love hearing all the Casey backers after the end of the first round when he gets outcoached.

  • tonious35

    Winning in the playoffs are equally satisfying between both Chi and BYK, but I rather put the beating on BYK and their crooked Refs because there is no very little reason to hate the Bulls, DJ Augustine, Thibs, and their devoid of talent + teamwork.

  • IC

    Season series is 2-2. All games were tight. If Brooklyn think the Raptors are just going to roll over they’re seriously out to lunch. I don’t see the lack of experience as a big issue. It’ll just mean the Raptors will have more to prove and a stronger desire to win. Not saying it would be an easy series but I wouldn’t fear the nets, their aging superstars and comical coach.

  • Louvens Remy

    I’m more scared of the Wiz and the Bobcats then the Nets and the Chicago to be perfectly honest.

  • ckh26

    Interesting piece of un substantiated rumor being passed off as journalism. Nothing in the NBA is as it seems. If the Nets wanted to meet the Raps in round one they might have to lose a few games to finish in 6th. Unless theysomehow believe the BUlls finish 3rd… but if they don’t over take the raps….then they get the Bulls in round 1… Just some dude blowing smoke up your skirt.

    • Stephen

      Given the Raps’ upcoming schedule, odds are pretty good the Bulls are in 3rd by this time next week. It’s not likely to hold up, but it’s very possible that, with a bit of bad luck, this team slips down to 4th.

  • nutcup

    Jesus reading this bs, makes me hark back to the early days of the season when it seemed I was the only one cheering for the team. All you negative people can hit the door right now, it don’t matter who we play in the first round we are going to win , take it to the bank. I cant wait for the second round and face the Heat or the Pacers to see what we really have. Casey has the respect of his players , maybe as fans we can show him some. Negative Nancies and Debbie downers make me puke, This is our team act like it.

  • HoopDreams7

    Lowry is without a doubt a “game-changer”. Maybe not as emotional and animated as Noah but the guy can flat out change the game all by himself. He’s a one man wrecking crew.

  • Niagara_dude

    The Raptors should have never given-up on Augustine, he has been the big difference in Chicago.He would look nice giving Lowry a break right now and Chicago would not have had the record they do.33 POINTS LAST NIGHT

  • L

    Maybe someone should point out that the Raptors feel exactly the same way. We’d much rather play the Nets than the Bulls.