Nets take advantage of depleted Raptors in second half

Cross your fingers for a healthier roster on Saturday.

It was predictably a rough one considering who the Raptors had.

Toronto took the L against Brooklyn for the second time this season, missing three starters and key bench players which led to only 10 guys suiting up (they all played). The Nets got whatever they wanted in the first quarter, whether it was open threes or transition buckets. Nick Nurse mentioned after the game that there were a lot of defensive mistakes but he also wasn’t going to harp on his players in this scenario.

The Raptors had their best effort in the second quarter, outscoring the Nets 25-14. The transition defence improved and Brooklyn turned it over eight times in the quarter alone. That led to the play of the night for Toronto.

Brooklyn led by only one at halftime, sparking hopes of another Nets egg like they laid against a shorthanded 76ers team the night before.

However the third quarter played out similar to the first. The Raptors shot only 35 percent for the game, and Kevin Durant did a solid job guarding O.G. Anunoby. With few shooting threats (7-29 from three), Brooklyn was able to funnel lots of attention to whatever Anunoby tried to do inside, resulting in only two second half points.

KD had begun the season with 17 straight games with at least 25 points, something not seen since Michael Jordan in the 80s. That streak was snapped in Philadelphia and he had just 12 in this game on 10 shots. Kyrie Irving took over in the second half to help the Nets take a 21 point lead. It was Kyrie’s first game in Toronto since 2019.

Mr. 1100

That’s how many games 16 year vet Thaddeus Young has now played in the NBA. Thad was one of the lone bright spots, initiating offence more than usual due to lack of creators. He finished with a team high five assists, the most he’s had this season.

That number could have been higher, as Thad had a beauty of a pass to Chris Boucher in the third quarter, but Boucher couldn’t finish the layup.

Young reflected on getting to the 1,100 game milestone a bit postgame.

Thad was asked this question below later on. I loved the answer, specifically mentioning former Raptor Reggie Evans. Samson gives out a “Reggie Evans award” in his postgame podcasts, so this was very fitting.

Sidenotes 1: Jack and Drake

Jack Armstrong is a national treasure.

Sidenotes 2: Gary and Juancho

There was some interest in how Gary Trent Jr. would respond to Nick Nurse’s scathing comments on Tuesday.

Nurse’s assessment after the game was that Gary had a decent offensive game (shot 6-19 and 1-8 from three, but had a team high 19 points). As for the defense? Nurse said he would have to evaluate that more but again, this wasn’t the game to really rip guys.

Speaking of defence, Juancho Hernangomez had another solid game. He had a few deflections, leading to three steals, and picked up his first double-double of the season. Juancho had a lot to do with the second quarter run that gave the Raptors a fighting chance for a while.

Sidenotes 3: Malachi starting

Flynn got the starting nod for the first time this season. He began the game with two threes, leading to an early Nets timeout. He was pretty quiet after that, finishing 3-12 from the field. It would have been nice for Flynn to initiate more offensively especially with how rough the halfcourt offence was.

Next Up: Luka and company come to Toronto.

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