Coming off the high of a thrilling win against the Cleveland Cavaliers the Raptors are going to take a trip to Barclays center to battle Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets tonight. Toronto is looking to add to the Nets miserable start to the season by handing them another loss in their home opener.
The Raptors get to face a reeling Nets team that looked out of order against the visiting Pelicans on opening night and fell to them 130-108. Brooklyn leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to defense and this should lead to a lot of great looks for Toronto. Toronto at this point in time has a lot more continuity than Brooklyn does because Ben Simmons still has to be acclimated so expect to see more cohesion from Toronto.
On the other end, Toronto has the versatile cast of defenders to ideally contain the Nets cast of dominant scorers such as Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant, even Ben Simmons will have to deal with a lot of size if he ever decides to attack. The Nets are facing the threat of falling to 0-2 on the young season so expect them to come out desperate and hungry, but Toronto has the confidence that comes with great late game performances such as the game against Cleveland.
Kevin Durant has said in the past he always thinks about how Nick Nurse will guard him and he has praised Scottie Barnes in the past so this visit from up north will be a love hate affair. We saw the Nets and Raptors have some close battles last season, usually with injuries on both ends, but some battles nonetheless.
Things to look for: Entire Raptors lineup taking advantage of the inevitable favorable matchups Brooklyn must concede to them such as OG Anunoby using his size to punish smaller players and the same for Scottie Barnes. Containing Kevin Durant who seemed to be the only source of consistent offense for Brooklyn in their home opener whether it be through traps to get the ball out of his hands or helping in every gap to make life extremely difficult for him.
Chris Boucher (hamstring) is questionable. Khem Birch is questionable. Otto Porter Jr. (hamstring) remains out.
PG: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn
SG: Gary Trent Jr., Jeff Dowtin Jr., Ron Harper Jr.
SF: O.G. Anunoby, Justin Champagnie
PF: Scottie Barnes, Thaddeus Young, Juancho Hernangomez
C: Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko
Seth Curry(Ankle), TJ Warren(Foot)
PG: Ben Simmons, Patty Mills
SG: Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Cam Thomas
SF: Royce O’neal, Yuta Watanabe
PF: Kevin Durant, Kessler Edwards
C: Nic Claxton, Dayron Sharpe
Brooklyn is favored -2.5, O/U is 226