Quick Reaction: Nets 110, Raptors 134

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Orlando, FL - AUGUST 17: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during Round One, Game One of the NBA Playoffs on August 17, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at AdventHealth Arena. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Scary third, but we up 1-0 kind of easily.

BKN Nets 110 Final
Box Score
134 TOR Raptors

B
O. Anunoby34 MIN, 12 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-8 FG, 3-5 3FG, 1-1 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 18 +/-

Not much to comment on in the first half as everyone was firing so his misfires didn’t matter. Missed some clean looks trying to aim the ball but did have one three-point play on a spin move which gave the Raps enough breathing room in the fourth. Need more from him if we’re going to beat better teams. Defensively was very active throughout and that’s the floor you get with him now.

C
P. Siakam31 MIN, 18 PTS, 11 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-13 FG, 1-4 3FG, 9-9 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 10 +/-

His spin move feeling the defender is great. His finish leaning forward at the rim is what he needs to perfect because that shot is available anytime. As we saw nobody on the Nets can stop him off the bounce so it becomes a matter of finishing from that 2-6 feet area using the right weight. Given that nobody can stop him he has to demand the ball more – there is no way the Nets should be making that third quarter comeback with him there.

B+
M. Gasol21 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-8 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 7 +/-

The Nets were…cheating off him? Bad idea because he can cut and finish near the rim which is what he did much to the Nets’ dismay. Missed some clean open looks from three but highly effective in screen ‘n roll action and as the screen man on the curl which is followed by a guard diving into the paint.

A-
K. Lowry38 MIN, 16 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 3-14 FG, 3-10 3FG, 7-7 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 26 +/-

Remember last year’s Game 1 against Orlando? Take your protractor out and draw a 180 from that and you got this game…at least the start. Hit an early three, got an early charge, an early drive and a ridiculous pass. Finishing was a bit off, especially near the rim but man, he breaks down your D and leaves you scrambling.

A+
F. VanVleet39 MIN, 30 PTS, 2 REB, 11 AST, 2 STL, 11-15 FG, 8-10 3FG, 0-1 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Bombing away from three, hesitation moves in transition and running pick ‘n rolls with Gasol like he’s been doing it for years. The Nets pace/length don’t trouble him because he’s got enough tricks to work around their athleticism and into their grill. He had the ESPN commentators jaw on the floor for the full 39 minutes he played.

A
S. Ibaka26 MIN, 22 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 8-14 FG, 2-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 17 +/-

Seemingly quiet but hugely impactful game. He was efficient offensively and present defensively against Allen. The rebounding in traffic was good, kept balls alive and was accurate from downtown. He could’ve even had more but for a few chips that he misplaced. Gotta get the easy ones, man. He is the nuclear reactor of the Raptors interior defense. Solid.

C-
N. Powell17 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

Getting kicked in the balls was his first half highlight. Didn’t make a defensive impact and overall energy was low. Was on the floor for that horrible stretch in the third where the Nets guards got into the paint with ease.

A+
T. Davis12 MIN, 11 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-4 FG, 2-2 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Nurse brought him in the second half to give a boost of energy and he supplied it. Raptors just needed a little injection of aggressiveness and he was able to spark them. Hit a huge three and a great And1 drive to put everyone at ease. After his struggles in the warm-up games it was good to see a guy you know can be impactful make an impact. Hopefully this gives him that boost he so desperately needed.

B+
R. Hollis-Jefferson11 MIN, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Didn’t see much run in the second after playing well in the first. Weird.

B-
M. Thomas7 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Must’ve done wonders for his confidence (not that he needed it) for Nick Nurse to call on him in the first quarter. Underrated ball-handler who can find a pass in tight quarters, which he did a couple times in the first half. Didn’t get a run in the second, might’ve been worth it considering the struggles in the third.

Inc
C. Boucher3 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-

I bet he could stop LeVert.

B
Nick Nurse

He’s got to call more plays for Siakam and get him deliberately into the game rather than rely on Siakam to be aggressive. Ideally, you want Siakam demanding the ball but if there are mismatches on the floor that aren’t being exploited, that’s where Nurse has to step in. Great timeout by Nurse to bring in Davis who had an instant impact.

Things We Saw

  1. This is a mismatch as the Nets have little they can do to disrupt the Raptors defense. The Raptors need one screen to get the shot they want as the Nets aren’t even organized enough defensively to communicate what they want to do.
  2. Sustaining that first half dominance can be tiring. I get it. But the third quarter run which Nurse attributed to giving up dribble penetration gives opponents ideas on where the Raptors weaknesses are. Jeff Van Gundy called the Raptors the best conditioned team in the league, and there can be no let ups to let anyone back into the game. It gives people ideas.
  3. The Nets have trouble defending without fouling so they’re happy when you take an outside shot which doesn’t put much pressure on them. They had 29 fouls compared to the Raptors 22 and that margin can even be higher. The Raptors don’t need to send doubles to anyone whereas the Nets are always scrambling trying to keep up.
  4. The Raptors missed their first free throw and then went 32-32. Wow.

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